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Defend The Gulf

Posted at July 25, 2018 | By : | Categories : Community | 0 Comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 02/05/2018

Contact: Mary Gutierrez, Earth Action, 1.850.549.7472, earthethicsaction@gmail.com

Dear Secretary, Zinke and BOEM

FLORIDA – On Thursday, January 4th, Secretary Zinke and the Trump Administration announced the Draft Proposed Program (DPP) for the 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program that will allow for oil and gas drilling as close as 3 miles to shore along the entirety of the coast of the lower 48 states including the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific. This new drilling plan makes 90% of the nation’s waters available for oil companies to drill. As residents of the Gulf of Mexico, where we have experienced way too many catastrophic disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the BP oil disaster, as well as daily oil spills and all-too-regular fossil fuel related accidents, we are compelled to write this letter urging you to rethink this deeply misguided direction for the country’s energy policy.

In this moment, we have an unprecedented opportunity to transition our country towards clean energy – where we are currently seeing the highest levels of economic growth, fiscal health, and success – and away from the use of fossil fuels, which are finite, limited, and failing industries. If BOEM and the current administration’s aim is to move from “simply aspiring to energy independence to attaining energy dominance” as stated in the proposed plan, it is of critical importance to shift the balance of investment from decaying, aging, and obsolete fossil fuel infrastructure and processes to new, growing, and innovative sustainable technologies.

“We have a vision.” says Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director of Earth Action and part of the AGIP collaborative, “We want to be the part of the United States that creates the largest renewable energy market and use that has ever been seen. We want complete dependence from fossil fuels while developing a competitive and lasting job market for those transitioning from the fossil fuel industry. This isn’t just about protecting the environment, it’s about public health and moving our country towards sustainable, clean energy sources.”

We respectfully ask that you rethink the entire current draft proposed five-year program for offshore drilling. We must be stewards of the environment and protect our natural resources. We must be humanitarians and protect our people from the negative and harmful impacts of oil and gas exploration and drilling, including seismic testing. Your jobs are to represent all constituents, not just the elite and privileged few. Please immediately retract the draft proposed five-year program for offshore drilling, further putting our waters at risk for disaster and continuing our path down the dead-end street of fossil fuels.

 

We have moral responsibility to change course – Pensacola News Journal – 02/10/2018

On Thursday, January 4th, Secretary Zinke and the Trump Administration announced the Draft Proposed Program (DPP) for the 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program that will allow for oil and gas drilling as close as 3 miles to shore along the entirety of the coast of the lower 48 states including the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific. This new drilling plan makes 90% of the nation’s waters available for oil companies to drill. As residents of the Gulf of Mexico, where we have experienced way too many catastrophic disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the BP oil disaster, as well as daily oil spills and all-too-regular fossil fuel related accidents. We need to rethink this deeply misguided direction for the country’s energy policy.

In this moment, we have an unprecedented opportunity to transition our country towards clean energy – where we are currently seeing the highest levels of economic growth, fiscal health, and success – and away from the use of fossil fuels, which are finite, limited, and failing industries. If BOEM and the current administration’s aim is to move from “simply aspiring to energy independence to attaining energy dominance,” (BOEM, 2018), as stated in the proposed plan, it is of critical importance to shift the balance of investment from the fossil fuel industry to new, growing, and innovative sustainable technologies.

We have seen firsthand the harmful impacts associated with offshore drilling. As we have unfortunately learned offshore drilling poses not only environmental impacts, but economic ones as well. “After the BP oil spill, the Gulf coastal tourism industry lost about $22.7 billion, and the area’s commercial fishing industry lost $247 million.” (Zachos, E., 2018). We are still recovering from the environmental, economic, and health impacts.

Oil spills aren’t the only adverse effects from drilling, there are the daily impacts associated with drilling operations including the use of drilling muds and produced waters that are created during the extraction process. These by-products can also negatively impact workers. We no longer want to be impacted by offshore drilling, exploration, and seismic testing. The impacts associated with each of these are too great of a risk for us to take especially when we have alternative energy sources.

We have a moral and ethical responsibility to change the course we are on for the survival of our people and our planet, now and for future generations. We have the opportunity for a just transition to an environmentally sustainable and economically vibrant future. Together we can make these changes. If you’re interested in helping, contact Mary Gutierrez at earthethicsaction@gmail.com

References:

Zachos, E., (2018). National Geographic. Trump’s Offshore Drilling Plan—What You Need to Know. Retrieved February 7, 2018 from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/01/trump-administration-announces-offshore-drilling-plans-spd/

Patin, S., (1999). Environmental Impact of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry. Waste discharges during the offshore oil and gas activity. Retrieved February 7, 2018 from http://www.offshore-environment.com/discharges.html

Institute of Medicine (US). Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2010. 3, Short- and Long-Term Effects on Human Health. Retrieved February 8, 2017 from  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209920/

 

A RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS EARTH ETHICS’S OPPOSITION TO OFFSHORE DRILLING ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING SEISMIC AIRGUN BLASTING – 01/01/2018

Earth Ethics Resolution

 

Only united do we stand – Pensacola News Journal – 07/11/2018

We are living in a time of great sorrow. In a world where the value of life appears to no longer exist, not just for humans, but for all species. Where differing opinions do not warrant discussion and resolutions, but anger and division. Where ignorance fuels hatred, racism, and discrimination for “those not like us.” Immigration, mass shootings, climate change, time’s up, pick your poison, pick your passion, we have so many to choose from. These are all nonpartisan issues. The conservatives aren’t right, but neither are the liberals in their opinions on these issues. We need to come together to find healthy, meaningful solutions. It is up to us, the people, “to be the change we want to see.” We must be successful to survive. We need to believe again that all life has value no matter what form, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religious belief, sexual preference and identity. I’m not like you either (and I’m OK with that). — Mary Gutierrez, Pensacola.