Sierra Club response to President’s new offshore drilling strategy

March 31, 2010 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

In a speech today, President Obama unveiled his new strategy on offshore drilling, which will keep some sensitive coastal areas open for drilling, including the Arctic’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas which are of concern because they provide important habitat for polar bears, whales, and other marine life. Much of the South and Mid-Atlantic  coasts will also remain open.  The new plans will leave Alaska’s Bristol Bay off-limits to drilling.

Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:

“We’re very disappointed to see important areas like the Arctic coast and the Mid and South Atlantic stay open to oil drilling.

“We also disagree with the Administration’s proposals to expand drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.  This would substantially increase the chance of oil spills damaging the Everglades, the Florida Keys, fragile coral reefs and Florida’s beaches. It would also jeopardize the $62 billion coastal tourism industry that employs almost a million Floridians. Fortunately, the Administration can’t take this action alone; congressional approval of new drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico would be required under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

“What we need is bold, decisive steps towards clean energy, like the new clean cars regulations announced this week–not more dirty, expensive offshore drilling.

“The oil industry already has access to drilling on millions of acres of America’s public lands and water. We don’t need to hand over our last protected pristine coastal areas just so oil companies can break more profit records.

“Drilling areas like the Arctic threatens marine life like whales and polar bears. Where there is offshore drilling, there is a constant danger of oil spills. One oil spill is all it takes to destroy a coastal tourism economy and the jobs that depend on it.

“Drilling our coasts will doing nothing to lower gas prices or create energy independence. It will only jeopardize beaches, marine life, and coastal tourist economies, all so the oil industry can make a short-term profit.

“President Obama has taken important steps to combat global warming pollution and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Our nation’s increasing investment in clean energy and efficiency measures make drilling in sensitive coastal areas even more unnecessary.

“There’s no reason to drill our coasts. We can achieve real energy independence and economic vitality by investing in clean energy like wind and solar and efficiency. This kind of power creates good, lasting American jobs and positions our nation to become a global leader in the new clean energy economy.”

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who we are:

Early in 2008, St. Petersburg College recognized its responsibility to model to our students, employees and community ways to minimize global warming emissions and provide the knowledge to our graduates to help achieve a more environmentally friendly future. Because of this, the College made sustainability (defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs) a top priority. As a result, the Office for Sustainability was established.

what we do:

Working alongside internal and external partners, the Office for Sustainability focuses on the following areas of environmental stewardship: educational programs and corporate training, energy and natural resource conservation, green buildings and facilities, carbon emissions, recycling and student activities.

learn more:

To learn more about The Office for Sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green, Sustainability Coordinator at green.jason@spcollege.edu

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