Protect Our Coasts: Week of Action

A Hands Across the Sand event in Long Beach, NY, on May 20, 2017

Source: Dani Tinker/NRDC

Over the weekend, a tidal wave of opposition to expanded offshore drilling washed over the nation, initiating a Week of Action protesting any attempts to sell-off our collective ocean resources to the oil industry.

At over 100 events in 19 states, and in multiple countries, people came together to oppose exposing our commonly held coastal resources, local economies, public health, and climate to the inherent harms of offshore drilling.

For far too long, the fossil fuel industry has benefited from taxpayer subsidies to buy-up our federally managed coastal waters, putting all they support at risk. Fortunately, last year many of our still unspoiled beaches and pristine waters were taken out of harm’s way. But now, the Trump administration is trying to reverse course despite a two-year wave of opposition from local leaders, business investors, faith leaders, conservation voices, and residents from every corner of America.

Those same voices were on display over the weekend, and many more will be standing up against the Trump Administrations reckless—and unnecessary—attempts to pull the rug out from under communities who had finally received the certainty they need regarding this tremendous risk to their economic future and the public waters they cherish.

For example, today over 130 local, regional, and national organizations are sending a letter to Secretary Zinke and Congressional leaders, reiterating their firm support for the protection and preservation of our coasts; opposition to the Trump Administration’s invitation for oil to start washing up on our yet-unsullied beaches. They write:

“Our oceans belong to us—the American people—and should be preserved and protected, not turned over to private companies for their short-term and short-sighted financial gain. Our future depends on clean renewable energy, not sacrificing our precious waters for oil that harms our families’ health and pollutes our oceans.”

The American people recognize it is folly to put our remaining ocean resources in harm’s way. Healthy oceans support fishing and tourism, cornerstones of coastal economies, and sustain unique cultures in Alaska and along each of America’s seaboards.

Further, attempts to start drilling in these regions constitutes a total rejection of the clean energy economy that is already fueling our future and can produce jobs while cutting pollution. Or, in the words of one Goldman Sachs analyst, high cost, high risk offshore drilling proposals are little more than “vanity projects”, out of synch with the clean energy revolution.  This is in part because the long-lead times required to begin offshore drilling means any oil produced would not show up for decades—at which point we must have transitioned to clean energy to combat climate change and maintain our position as a global energy leader.

Reckless. Harmful. Unnecessary. It’s time to draw a line in the sand against expanded offshore drilling. Click here to add your voice to those standing up for clean beaches, clean energy, and a brighter future for the next generation.

About the Authors

Franz Matzner

Deputy Director, Federal Campaigns, Center for Policy Advocacy

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