Protect Florida's Coast from Offshore Drilling
While Big Oil sits on more than 8,000 leases to drill in our oceans, covering over 43 million acres, and reportedly holds its tankers offshore in wait for a higher oil price, its lobbyists in Washington still don't seem satisfied. Apparently they want access to every acre of ocean bottom from Alaska to Maine. Their latest battle is being waged over Florida's West Coast, an area they agreed to protect just two years ago. And we suspect they have their sights on other coastlines as well.
Last week, a Senate committee voted to open millions of acres of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling. The measure would allow drilling within 10 miles of Pensacola, and shrink the current 125-mile-wide buffer elsewhere along Florida's west coast to 45 miles. In doing so, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is undoing an agreement made in 2006 to protect Florida's Gulf Coast.
This move is part of a comprehensive energy bill originally designed to promote the development of renewable energy and reduce the level of climate-changing "greenhouse gases" generated by using oil and gas. However, this and other changes to the bill would undermine those goals.
The oil industry and its friends in Congress seem intent on continuing to drill off of the Florida coast in an area previously protected by an agreement they themselves negotiated and that was supported by conservationists, Republicans, and Democrats alike. They will succeed unless you act now to help. Here is what you can do.
1) Urge your Member of Congress and Senators to oppose any legislation that calls for more drilling off of Florida's coast.
2) Urge President Obama to oppose any legislation that calls for more drilling off of Florida's coasts.
Big Oil is offering Americans a "fools bargain" by pretending that more offshore drilling will lead to lower prices at the pump and greater energy security. But the U.S. government's own Energy Information Administration (EIA), reports that "access to Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030." Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, EIA points out that even in 2030, any impact on average price at the pump is expected to be insignificant.
Take Action and tell the President and your representatives in Congress to protect Florida's coasts and oppose more offshore drilling.
For the oceans,
Senior Campaign Director,