Aug 14, 2008
In 1969 an offshore oil rig spilled 9 million gallons of oil off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. This disaster reaked havoc on the ecosystem and the beautiful beaches. This disaster prompted congress and the American people to put a moratorium on off-shore drilling in the name of protecting the environment we all enjoy. However, in June of this year, President Bush demanded congress lift the ban on offshore drilling. Lifting this ban would surely mean profits for the oil companies, not to mention the people building their platforms and pipelines. And it is surely good politics for those in Washington to advocate it, if they think Americans believe it will help them save money. However, it would do nothing to affect gas prices. We would be polluting the ocean, destroying beaches, altering habitats (most notably the sea turtles in the gulf and south atlantic that are already highly endangered) of marine life and causing damage that could never be repaired. Not to mention the high risks of spills large or small. We would be selling a national treasure, America's coastlines, in the name of politics and profit.
So far, the democrats (Nancy Pelosi) have held firm in not even having a vote to lift the ban. However, both John McCain and Barack Obama (to a more limited degree, but still) have said they would be open to drilling on our coastlines. The pressure to lift the ban is intense (the oil lobby is by far the richest and not just a few politicians need their money).
Sometimes when you are surfing at this beach in San Diego, you will look up and see a whale spout spewing water into the air, or a pod of dolphins a few yards away. These waters, like so much of Americas coast, are already dangerously polluted from sewage and ground runoff. Lets not make the problem any worse.
If you, like me, love our oceans and the creatures that inhabit them, please take a minute to write a letter to your congressperson and ask them to please stand firm in protecting America's coast by keeping the ban on offshore drilling. You can find your Representative's information by visiting www.house.gov and entering your zip code at the top of the page.