BP's Gulf oil spill is a heartbreaking tragedy, but despite its devastating impact on human life, habitat and marine animals, as well as on jobs and the broader economy, many in Congress still believe we should drill more, not less. The time has come, however, to fight that flawed ideology and prevent future offshore oil spills.
Ocean Champions is proud to have helped elect many of those in Congress who are leading this fight against offshore drilling. Our challenge this year is to make sure all of them return to finish the battle, including the three incumbents we're endorsing today: Congressmen Ed Markey (D-MA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Rush Holt (D-NJ), who are aggressively pursuing solutions to address today's crisis and prevent tomorrow's.
In recent days, Congressmen Pallone and Holt have formed a powerful one-two punch against Big Oil. Congressman Pallone introduced a ban on any new drilling in U.S. waters, while Congressman Holt introduced a bill to hold oil companies fully accountable for spill costs by raising their liability cap from $75 million to $10 billion. Two weeks before BP's Deepwater Horizon blowout, both lawmakers joined with others in the New Jersey delegation to author a letter to Interior Secretary Salazar opposing the Administration's decision to expand offshore oil drilling. The letter instead calls for developing clean offshore solutions such as wind and wave energy.
Congressman Markey has consistently fought against expanded offshore drilling, pressing for improved efficiency and development of renewable energy as the best approach to ending our dependence on foreign oil. He reiterated this position after the BP Gulf oil disaster, while leading the charge to expose Big Oil's inadequate offshore drilling safety practices. In addition, Congressman Markey's ability to lead his Climate bill to passage clearly shows his commitment to replacing offshore drilling with safe, renewable energy. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Waxman-Markey climate bill will also address ocean acidification, which threatens a broad range of marine species.
Elections will play a major role in deciding the national debate over our long-term energy strategy. For those interested in ending our dependence on foreign oil AND mitigating future offshore oil spill nightmares, sending Congressmen Markey, Pallone and Holt back to Washington is an important step.
The Ocean Champions Team
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