Tell Trump to Keep our Oceans and Coastal Communities Clear of New Offshore Drilling

  • by: Earthjustice
  • target: President Trump and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
The 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill dumped 3 million gallons of crude oil off the California coast. Twenty years later, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil off the coast of Alaska. And only seven years ago the Deepwater Horizon explosion caused 210 million gallons of crude oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico.

These oil spills took an enormous toll on nearby communities and marine life, many of which are still dealing with the damages.

But now the Trump administration is taking steps toward opening up public ocean waters in the Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico to new oil and gas drilling, thereby exposing more communities to even further damage and taking us in the wrong direction in combating climate change. We need your help.

After a multiyear process, just this past January, the Obama administration finalized a plan that kept the Arctic and Atlantic oceans safe from expanded offshore oil and gas drilling. But several weeks ago, the Trump administration announced it would abandon this plan and start the offshore leasing process all over again to open up these and other areas to oil drilling. This action doubles-down on President Trump’s earlier attempt to overturn Obama’s permanent ban against expanded drilling in the vast majority of the Arctic and important parts of the Atlantic oceans. Earthjustice and our partners are challenging that decision in court, and we will resist this new leasing plan every step of the way.

The risk of an oil spill is too great, as it could cause irreversible damage to our coastal communities and irreplaceable wildlife. You’ve got until August 17 to get on the record again saying no to new offshore drilling off our coastlines.

For years, Earthjustice has been instrumental in preventing risky and rushed oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, putting tremendous strain on the Arctic’s diverse wildlife and people. Experts agree that an oil spill in the Arctic would be catastrophic and could not be contained in the remote, icy, and stormy seas.

Drilling off the Atlantic Coast could harm critical habitat for whales and sea turtles and threaten the region’s vibrant fishing and tourism industries.

For too long, the Gulf of Mexico has been treated as an energy sacrifice zone, with over 10,000 spills recorded this decade and some 27,000 leaky, abandoned wells. Nothing about this track record supports selling off even more of these waters to Big Oil.

Drilling in any of these areas would open fragile and priceless ecosystems to damage from pollution and spills, pose immeasurable risk to wildlife and communities, and accelerate global climate disruption.

Please take a moment to make your voice heard and tell Trump to keep our oceans and coastal communities clear of new offshore leasing!
(RE: BOEM-2017-0050-0001) I oppose new oil and gas leasing
Dear Bureau of Ocean Energy Management,

I am writing to oppose any new oil and gas leasing off our coasts. Offshore drilling is inherently dangerous, and more devastating oil spills are inevitable. Increased storm severity in the face of climate change will increase the risks of oil spills, accidents and other environmental harms associated with this offshore drilling. Expanded drilling for oil in our oceans also takes us in the wrong direction on combatting climate change.

Over 23 million acres have already been leased for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and 18 million of those remain undeveloped. Especially during this critical time when we need to reduce our dependency on oil, there is no reason to auction off even more acreage to Big Oil.

The Arctic is a unique and fragile ecosystem that is warming twice as fast as the rest of the country. Sea ice is disappearing, permafrost is melting and coastlines are eroding. We can't afford to follow a path that will worsen the impacts of climate change in the region or subject it to the risks of an oil spill that could not be cleaned or contained in the Arctic Ocean.

Along the Atlantic shoreline, offshore drilling threatens a vibrant tourism and fishing industry. 120 East Coast municipalities, more than 1,200 elected officials and more than 12,000 businesses publically opposed offshore drilling and related activities during last year's review.

The current leasing plan follows years of study, public engagement, and consideration of over 1.4 million comments opposed to offshore drilling. It rightly excludes the Atlantic and Arctic oceans from offshore leasing. There is no good reason to revisit the protections in the current plan.

However, if the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management persists, it should maintain the exclusions in the current plan--including of the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific--and go further to end new leasing in the Gulf of Mexico.
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