Say No to Drilling Off California's Coast

There's a reason why California's coastlines are still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country -- because for the last 25 years, their natural beauty has been protected under law.

But this year, Republicans in Congress have introduced legislation that would weaken the federal safeguards against offshore drilling that have protected our coast for 25 years.

One of California's own state representatives, Richard Pombo, is pushing such legislation in the House, while Republicans have simultaneously introduced nearly identical legislation in the Senate.

The oil industry is eager to pass this bill because it makes it easier for them to lift restrictions on drilling. According to the San Diego Tribune, “The oil and gas industries are intensifying their effort to open more U.S. coastal areas to drilling…” (April 9, 2006).

The federal moratorium on drilling exists for good reason: offshore drilling is incredibly harmful to the coastal environment. In the Gulf of Mexico, where offshore oil and gas drilling is allowed, over 3 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf from 1980 to 1999. That's over 400 gallons a day for nearly twenty years.

Drilling should never be the answer to better energy policy, and certainly not if it means polluting our waters and coasts. Join Steve Westly in telling Congressman Pombo and his right-wing colleagues that we will not sell our coastlines to the oil industry.

Dear Congressmember,

For the last 25 years, our country's coastlines have been protected by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. But new proposed legislation in Congress has the potential to end this protection, giving governors of coastal states the green light to permit oil drilling in exchange for state royalties.

Federal law has protected our coasts for good reason. Just look at the Gulf of Mexico, where between 1980 to 1999 alone, 3 million gallons of oil have been spilled from offshore oil and gas operations into the ocean. That's over 400 gallons a day for 20 years. Is this what we want for coastal states like California?

I agree that we are in need of better energy policies to carry our country into the future, but allowing a practice that will severely pollute our oceans in not a viable answer. If you give state leaders the freedom to allow drilling in exchange for monetary compensation, extreme detrimental damage could be inflicted on our oceans and our environment.

I urge you to protect California by voting against legislation that would lift or weaken the ban on offshore drilling. The future of our country's coastlines rests in your hands.

Thank you.

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