Is it the monster that won't die or a nightmare without end?
Because of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, Congress imposed a moratorium on new offshore drilling that has been in effect since 1981. Like the iconic horror movie characters, though, the forces of darkness keep coming back to try to open our coasts to oil drilling. Once again we have to stop them:
Two years ago, we beat back yet another effort to lift the moratorium, and then used that issue to help retire Representative Richard Pombo (R-Ca.) in the fall elections. As the New York Times noted this week, his defeat was a major gain for conservation, and we thought those who wanted to drill off our coasts would learn the lesson of his election by keeping their hands off special places like the ocean.
But it looks like we were wrong. In a coordinated and well-planned campaign push, Senator John McCain, President Bush, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist (R) came out this week pushing hard to lift the moratorium, and have turned it into a presidential campaign issue.
We know that gas prices are hitting everybody hard and we think there are lots of measures that Congress and the President can take to bring down the cost of energy. But, offshore oil supplies can't be brought on line for at least seven to ten years (that's the oil industry's own estimate), so offshore drilling does nothing to change the price of gas. Not to mention that more drilling is exactly what we don't need to be doing to solve global warming.
Our sources tell us that the leadership in the House and the Senate is committed to upholding the moratorium, and working for a more sensible energy policy that includes incentives for renewable energy and conservation. We need to support those efforts, and tell our members of Congress that our oceans are more important than the limited supplies of oil that can be extracted from them.
Please contact your Senators and Representative today and tell them to support the moratorium.
For The Oceans,
The Ocean Champions Team