Louisiana native and “Vampire Diaries” star Ian Somerhalder has been working tirelessly to promote awareness of the dire situation on the Gulf Coast since the spill two months ago. He’s been keeping fans and fellow activists updated via his Twitter, @iansomerhalder.
Recently, he’s expressed frustration about the lack of industry and celebrity voices speaking out about the disaster.
“Brad Pitt and people at his level in this industry – they do amazing things for the world, all over the world,” Somerhalder tells Zap2it. “But it seems obvious to me that there’s a certain silence, with this particular issue, and I have my own theories why — politically, why that might be, but I would never discuss that, because they’re my thoughts. It’s not my place to project that on anyone.”
Somerhalder says that things aren’t getting any better for the residents of the Gulf Coast, especially for Grand Isle, which he describes as “ground zero.”
“I just was on the phone with the park manager of the Grand Isle State Park,” he tells us. “She said that the oil is now coming back into the lagoons, and she said it’s significantly worse. As she’s sitting there talking to me she’s watching two dolphins stuck in that oil, swimming around in the lagoon. She got very emotional about it. She goes, ‘I just want to let you know, in case you haven’t heard, there’s a giant oil slick several miles out into the gulf that’s coming right to us.’ So they’re about to get hit, again, with a massive oil slick, again. It’s never-ending.”
When we spoke to Somerhalder a month ago, he was nearly in tears as he described the damage to his home. Now, after the Larry King telethon, he’s more hopeful, repeating that this disaster is the “game-changer” that will force our country to examine our excessive use of dirty energy.
“Look, it’s a shame that we had to destroy an entire ecosystem, but hopefully we can move forward in the right direction. People spoke up [at the telethon], and it was a really, really powerful moment, a really moving thing for me, personally. It was unbelievably obvious that people care. The passion with which people were voicing their discontent – I was overwhelmed,” he says.
Somerhalder agrees with them. “We’ve got to change. We’re perpetuating danger, and right now, as it stands, Obama’s moratorium on the oil drilling has been lifted. That just means that deepwater drilling can start in the gulf again. The Natural Resources Defense Council is going to appeal on an expedited schedule, but as it stands right now, deepwater drilling can happen.”
For information about how you can help, check out United Way, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Nature Conservancy. Keep an eye on Zap2it for more from our interviews with Sophia Bush, Austin Nichols, and Ian Somerhalder.
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