There's a move afoot to open the U.S. portion of the Atlantic Ocean to oil drilling -- an area that's been off limits to oil drilling since the 1980s. Some politicians want to see the area used for dirty oil and gas development. This will open the door to platforms, pipelines and pollution.
The Atlantic is home to critically endangered North Atlantic right whales -- among the rarest in the world with only about 400 whales remaining.
The coast provides important habitat to a vast array of marine life, but it's already under increasing pressure from coastal development, overfishing and shipping.
There's a proposal to survey the area for oil reserves using seismic airguns, which are nearly as loud as explosives. Surveys of this type can result in hearing loss, disturbances and strandings, and even the deaths of marine mammals.
Oil drilling off the East Coast is simply a bad idea for our marine communities and environment.
Please take action: Tell your senator that the Atlantic should be off limits to new drilling.
I'm writing to urge you to oppose efforts to open the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas drilling through Senate Bill 1024, or the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2013. This act seeks to direct the Department of the Interior to offer a new lease sale off the coast of Virginia for oil and gas development.
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Our coast is too sensitive and valuable to allow the risks of offshore drilling and oil spills. There are endangered whales, sea turtles and an array of fish -- including the majestic bluefin tuna -- that are threatened by oil development in the Atlantic Ocean. The local economy, including tourism and fishing, depends on a healthy and clean coastal ecosystem.
In addition to saving the Atlantic from offshore drilling, we urge you to support efforts that are consistent with a clean energy future and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
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