Demand Stricter Safety Regulations After Deadly Oil Well Explosion

Target: Thomas Perez, Secretary of Labor

Goal: Enforce stricter safety regulations on oil drilling to prevent deadly oil well explosions.

The recent explosion of an oil well in North Dakota resulted in the death of 52-year-old Johnny Stassinos and severe burns to three other workers on-site. This tragedy could have been prevented with foresight and better regulations on the drilling and maintenance taking place.

This is a twofold tragedy to both human rights and a small part of a larger tragedy to the environment, and we must do what we can to mitigate both of these tragedies. XTO Energy, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, was responsible for the operation of this well site and should be held accountable for the lives and health of these workers. Compensation for their families must be ensured. Holding these corporations to higher standards can make these disasters an unfortunate part of the past rather than continued occurrences as profit is placed above the lives of the workers.

Oil extraction is, by nature, wrought with potential for disaster, including incidents of environmental harm, injury, and death caused by explosions. Natural gas extraction is similarly, if not even more, volatile and risky, and must also be reexamined and put under increased scrutiny in the years to come. There is no excuse for continued deaths in incidents such as these when safe, renewable energy is emerging competitively and flourishing in various forms. Increased regulations on these dangerous and environmentally damaging sources of energy can expedite the transition to renewable energy for a safer and cleaner future. Please sign the petition below to put an end to these direct deadly threats on oil and natural gas sites.


Dear Secretary Perez,

The recent explosion of an oil well in North Dakota resulting in a man’s death and several others being severely burned is only the most recent in a long history of damage done by volatile fossil fuel extraction methods. With the ability to safely and cleanly generate electricity using alternative sources, there is no excuse to settle for the possibility of more lives being lost in tragedies such as this one.

Unless oil and natural gas extraction agencies can step up their safety methods to meet newer, safer standards that can ensure the security of the workers’ lives, then these corporations must themselves become fossils. The American people should not have to settle for their lives and the environment being at risk when it can be prevented.

I am urging you to ensure that the sanctity of the workers’ lives is upheld and that profit margins in the energy industry do not end a worker’s life or jeopardize their health again. The environment and the lives of the men and women working in the energy industry are worth too much to allow these disasters to continue.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mary Rose Xenikakis

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