Article

IT'S WAY OFFSHORE: Bush Calls For Offshore Drilling

| posted on July 22, 2010

Have you surfed Restaurants? Or Canoes? How about Offshore Oil Drills? President Bush asked Congress to lift the moratorium banning offshore oil drilling as part of his plan to relieve record-breaking oil prices, inspired by John McCain’s initiative to include increased drilling as part of his platform for presidency.

Studies by the Rainforest Action Network suggest that offshore drilling damages kelp beds, reefs and coastal wetlands and also exposes wildlife to the threat of oil spills that could devastate their populations.

Bush says we must increase domestic oil production by tapping into the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Colorado, Utah and Wyoming are also included with the drilling of oil shale, a type of rock that can produce oil when exposed to heat.

“Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress are standing in the way of further development,” said Bush. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California points to an investigative report from the House Committee on Natural Resources, finding no correlation between increased drilling and lower gas prices.

“Bottom line,” she says, “we need a real, long-term strategy to address our nation’s addiction to fossil fuels. We need to reduce our energy consumption to make the shift towards renewable energy and clean technology.”

Studies by the Rainforest Action Network suggest that offshore drilling damages kelp beds, reefs and coastal wetlands and also exposes wildlife to the threat of oil spills that could devastate their populations. Oil companies that have already established offshore drilling have a brutal history of accidents and violations. In May 1992, Chevron USA pleaded guilty to 65 violations of the Clean Water Act.

Governors of California, Oregon and Washington established the “West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health” in September of 2006 to enforce a lasting ban of offshore oil drilling, a commitment to alternative energy sources and increased energy efficiency. Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Theodore R. Kulongoski and Christine O. Gregoire sent a letter to President Bush, noting their agreement and stating, “We stand united to protect our ocean and coasts.”

Gov. Schwarzenegger, who stands by his endorsement of McCain says:

“California’s coastline is an international treasure. I do not support lifting this moratorium on new oil drilling off our coast.”

Patagonia, a company that takes great pride in their environmentalism effort and building products without causing unnecessary harm, made the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge the focus of their Fall 2007 environmental campaign, striving to permanently protect the 1.5 million acre Coastal Plain of the Refuge by designating it as Wilderness.

Clearly, the debate is heated when it comes to finding viable solutions to our world’s need for energy, but before we dive headfirst into the water, we might want to consider its rippling effects. Tell us what you think in our comments section below.