Protect Our Coasts from Drilling

  • by:
  • recipient: Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Secretary of Interior
With the help of powerful Congressional allies, pro-drilling forces are aggressively pushing bills that would undermine the moratorium that protects our coasts.

For more than two decades, most of America's coastline has been off-limits to oil and gas drilling, protected by executive orders signed by both President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton and a congressional moratorium extended each year. Those who want to overturn the offshore drilling moratorium have vowed to renew their efforts, and we have already seen a wave of Congressional and administrative attacks with attempts to weaken coastal protections or abolish the offshore drilling moratorium altogether.

In December 2006, the "lame duck" House and Senate passed an offshore drilling bill, which opens up 8 million acres of Gulf of Mexico waters to new oil and gas drilling, as part of a $45 million "tax extenders" package that President Bush signed into law.

It was a move that will just add to the billions in profits already being made by Big Oil, do nothing to lower gas prices for American families or energy costs for American business, and will keep our nation dangerously dependent on oil. It's clear that drilling proponents see this vote as the first of many steps in their quest to open every inch of America's coastline to destructive oil and gas drilling, and we can expect more of the same from them.

Tell the Administration that you do not want our coasts opened up to destructive oil and gas drilling.

Dear Mr. Kempthorne,

I do not want our coasts opened up to destructive oil and gas drilling.

America's coasts provide the economic lifeblood for tourism and fishing communities across the country, a destination for thousands of vacationing families each year, and sanctuary for wildlife. Yet they are in jeopardy.

Attempts to dismantle decades of important federal shoreline protections and industrialize America's fragile coasts continue with renewed vigor. Although the moratorium on new offshore oil and gas drilling has enjoyed bipartisan support for 25 years, a host of congressional, administrative and state-level threats could undermine or overturn these important protections.

Whether just a few miles from the beaches where families swim, fish, and play, or just over the horizon, offshore oil and gas drilling poses serious threats to America's coasts, putting local wildlife, ecosystems, recreational opportunities, and economies at risk. In addition to the perils of oil drilling with its attendant leaks and spills, offshore natural gas drilling would have substantial environmental consequences for America's coasts and marine life; with routine air and water pollution and onshore industrialization.

No matter how much of our natural heritage we sacrifice, we can't drill our way to energy independence. We can only achieve energy freedom by promoting clean renewable energy sources, making our buildings and appliances more efficient, and improving standards like making our cars go farther on a gallon of gas.


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