The Supreme Court's decision this week to reduce Exxon Mobil's payout brought with it memories and images of the 1989 spill, whose effects are still being felt by ecosystems, marine life, and people. I was still in single digits when the spill happened, so reading about it was a clear wake-up call that a similar disaster could be just over the horizon unless we do something.
In the coming weeks, Congress is expected to vote on a measure that would lift the moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, unnecessarily opening up new areas of the sea to oil companies. Since 1981 the United States has held a moratorium on oil and gas development in parts of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). It has protected the oceans from industrialization, and the high cost of gas ought not change that.
Oil companies don't need access to more areas; in fact, they are currently only producing oil from 18 percent of the areas they own. According to the Department of Energy, even if they were able to drill in the OCS, it would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.
Yes, it's painful to fill up your gas tank these days, but that's no reason to sacrifice the health of our ocean ecosystems. Please take action now by telling your Representative to keep the drills off our coasts.
- Video: Spangled Emperor Fish Dazzle the Great Barrier Reef Posted Wed, July 23, 2014
- Ocean News: Regulators Propose Whale Sanctuary in the Canary Islands, Harbor Seals Found to Forage around Wind Farms, and More Posted Thu, July 24, 2014
- Photos: A Look at Some of the Ocean’s Most Beautiful Tentacles Posted Thu, July 24, 2014
- Ocean News: Blue Whale “Hot Spots” Linked with Busy Shipping Lanes, Massachusetts Bans Shark Fin Trade, and More Posted Fri, July 25, 2014
- Massachusetts Takes a Step Forward For Sharks Posted Fri, July 25, 2014