Rush Limbaugh blamed the Sierra Club for the Gulf oil spill on Monday, May 17. The Sierra Club responded by using Limbaugh’s statement to initiate a campaign, asking for supporters to make donations in Limbaugh’s name.
“When do we ask the Sierra Club to pick up the tab for this leak?” Limbaugh asked on his radio show on Monday. “Everybody’s focused on BP and Halliburton, and Transocean. Let me connect the dots here for you. The Greeniacs have been driving our oil producers off the land from offshore to way offshore to way, way, way out there offshore.”
Most have brushed off Limbaugh’s comments as absurd. One listener wrote, “The leak that is doing the most damage to this country is not in the Gulf of Mexico. … No, the most dangerous leak in America is, quite literally, directly beneath Rush Limbaugh's nose. If it were not hooked directly to a network of radio stations, it would, in all likelihood, actually be quite safe. But to broadwave this ignorance is toxic to civil discourse in our culture.”
The campaign in response to Limbaugh’s comment ask for donations in Limbaugh’s name. The “Help Rush Limbaugh become Sierra Club’s Top Fundraiser!” campaign is asking supporters to make donations to the Sierra Club in order to “support Sierra Club's efforts to promote clean energy solutions and put an end to offshore drilling.” In return for donations, Sierra Club has promised to send thank you cards to Limbaugh, letting him know that supporters have made a donation in his honor.
Commenting on Limbaugh’s accusations, spokesman for the Sierra Club, Oliver Bernstein said, “Of course, Rush Limbaugh is good for a nice laugh but we all know that it is the oil companies and their allies that are much responsible for the BP oil disaster in the Gulf Coast. And if anything, the discourse needs to be around how we can get the spill cleaned up and how we can get ourselves off of oil.”
Bernstein said the public’s response to the campaign initiated by Limbaugh’s comments has been positive, but it is too early to tell the amounts of donations that are coming in.
As far as the exact distribution and use of the donations coming in through the campaign, Bernstein said, “We are continuing the ‘Climate Recovery Partnership,’ which safeguards communities that are affected by things such as the Gulf oil spill by helping restore and protect wetlands.”
Bernstein emphasized the organization’s direct work with coastal communities to ensure the protection of wetlands, which are essential for clean water, flood prevention, marine and avian life and more.
The Sierra Club, America’s oldest and largest environmental agency, has been an opponent of offshore drilling for years and has repeatedly asked officials in the White House to halt plans for offshore drilling.