The massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates that the risks of offshore drilling are far greater than the rewards. Drilling technology is not reliable, and a BP spokesperson recently said fixing the leak "is like doing open-heart surgery at 5,000 feet in the dark…" Of course, that's exactly why offshore drilling should not be done in the first place.
NOAA says the spill is pumping over 200,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf every day, and ending it may take 90 days or more. That would put 18 million gallons of oil into the Gulf - nearly twice as much as the Exxon Valdez - potentially devastating estuaries and other critical habitat, sensitive fisheries, and threatened marine mammals and turtles. Many jobs will be lost, and the economic impact will be immense.
With this heartbreaking tragedy before us, we must seize the day to reverse recent plans to expand offshore oil drilling!
When gas prices reached $4 in the summer of 2008, a large, vocal contingent of voters pushed Congress (both Democrats and Republicans) to end the 30-year moratorium on new offshore drilling. The Administration, believing that a majority of Americans favor expanded offshore drilling, recently made this central to their energy plan.
Now it's time to let them know that we won't tolerate more drilling! With only 3% of the world's reserves located offshore, we can't drill our way out of dependence on foreign oil - we need a major commitment to clean, renewable energy that will create jobs and drive our economy for years.
America's future will be driven by clean, renewable energy, and to make that happen we need a strong climate bill passed before the end of the year. However, this bill CANNOT include expanded offshore oil drilling as an inducement for fence sitters. We simply can't risk another catastrophe like Deepwater Horizon.
For the Oceans,
The Ocean Champions Team
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