When then-President Bush lifted the moratorium on offshore oil drilling last summer, the threat of new rigs blighting our coasts seemed imminent. Gas prices were well over $4, and the tide of public opinion had seemingly swung in favor of new drilling. By the time Congress let the moratorium end in the fall, many efforts had shifted to minimizing the impact of any new drilling by restricting locations and methods. For example, Chairman Rahall has the Natural Resources Committee in the House evaluating how and where we should and shouldn't drill, while some conservationists including Ocean Champions are working to secure a dedicated revenue stream for ocean health projects from any lease activity.
Today, the political landscape is still challenging, but there are reasons for hope. The Obama administration and leaders in Congress are stressing the development of alternative, clean energies, including solar, wind and wave power, public consciousness about global warming is rising, and gas prices are more modest. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar placed a six-month hold on the Bush Administration's plan for new oil drilling, and is using that time to gather input from experts and concerned stakeholders.
Click here to learn more about the public hearings held by Secretary Ken Salazar.
You may submit your comments to Ms. Renee Orr, up until September 21, 2009:
Ms. Renee Orr
Please call your Senators and Representative today and tell them to support the moratorium: 202-224-3121.