Recently the House of Representatives approved (H.R. 2231) a vast increase in oil and gas exploration and drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans. Calling for fast track leasing of huge areas off the coasts of Virginia, South Carolina, and California in the next two years, the bill would ultimately bring this dirty and dangerous business to the entire Atlantic coast for the first time in decades. It would renew drilling off southern California and expand leasing in our most sensitive oceans off Alaska even though oil spill cleanup there is next to impossible.
The 'drill anywhere and everywhere' act would also do away with any meaningful environmental analysis of offshore drilling in sensitive places. The fact that a coastal region has vulnerable marshes, productive ecosystems, or has inadequate oil spill response assets would take a backseat to drilling interests.
We can't let this House bill pass the Senate. The ocean is a place for whales, porpoises, sea turtles, fish and corals. Sandy beaches, wholesome seafood and clean water are threatened by this industrialization of our coastal areas by big oil interests.
Don't believe me when I say this legislation is extreme? It opens up Bristol Bay, Alaska for drilling! Yes, the "fish basket of the US", home to the largest sockeye salmon runs left on earth, would be open for drilling.
Our best opportunity to stop this legislation is in the U.S. Senate. You might think that the Senate is a fail-safe back stop: Think again. There are a number of Big Oil Democrats who will vote with the minority, and we need to tell them NO!
Please take a moment to protect healthy oceans and beaches. Send Senate Leader, Harry Reid, an email saying NO to drilling in Bristol Bay, NO to more drilling off southern California, and NO to seismic testing and drilling along the Atlantic coast.
When the ‘drill anywhere and everywhere’ bill (HR. 2231) is introduced in the Senate sometime soon, please sink this one to the bottom of the pile where it belongs. Don’t let Big Oil drill in sensitive oceans like Bristol Bay, Alaska, or expand their footprint to the Atlantic coast or drill again off Southern California. Congress has yet to fix the drilling program and liability provisions after the worst offshore oil spill in US history (the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010) despite many good proposals to do just that. Oil drilling does NOT mix with clean oceans and beaches. Our coastal economies and jobs depend on clean water and healthy oceans. Just say NO to this ocean grab.
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