Blog Tags: Clean Energy
Rachel Guillory is Oceana's Campaign Organizer in the Gulf region. She sent us this dispatch.
Last month, a number of Louisiana organizations hosted a two-day rally at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge. The rally, called “Love Your Coast”, was the collaborative effort of a handful of local student organizations and environmental groups.
One of the goals of this rally was to pass a resolution through the state legislature, which was drafted by Devin Martin and Darrell Hunt of the Sierra Club Delta Chapter. The resolution asks our political leaders to:
-Urge all state and federal authorities to commit all resources to stopping the leak, and protecting, cleaning, and restoring our shores;
-Urge the state to use all legal means to get all affected individuals and businesses swiftly and justly compensated;
-Present a strategy for the prevention of another drilling disaster and it's economic consequences by prioritizing economic diversification, clean energy development, and safer and more environmentally stringent drilling regulations.
At yesterday’s TedxOilSpill, I spoke to the crowd about the questions I hear most from people who don’t see eye to eye with me on why the disaster in the Gulf is our call to action.
Here are my responses to the naysayers -- feel free to use these with any clean energy skeptic you come across.
1) Isn't the Deepwater drilling disaster just like an airplane crash? We don't shut down aviation when a plane crashes.
No. In an airplane crash, most of the victims are those who were on the airplane. In this case, most of the victims are the millions of people living in the Gulf. This is more like the guy who built a campfire in the dry season, against regulations, and burned down the national forest and all the towns and cities alongside it. That's why we have regulations against building campfires during the dry season: Not because every camper burns down his campsite, but because all we need is one. We have laws against dry season campfires, and we should have laws against ocean oil drilling.
2) There are 3600 drilling platforms in the gulf. Are you going to shut them all down?
We're not calling for a shutdown of the platforms, just of drilling. Once the wells are drilled, the risks go down. The pumping can continue, but the drilling has to stop.
3) So then isn't this just a deep-water problem? Can't we continue in the shallow water?
Ocean drilling in shallow water is also very risky. One of the top three oil drilling disasters of all time, Ixtoc 1, was in 160 feet of water. And last August, the Montara rig blow-out near Australia, which took 11 weeks to control, was in just 250 feet of water.
Across time zones and oceans, a single wave in solidarity against offshore drilling spread around the globe this past Saturday.
At 12:00PM local time, Hands Across the Sand began in New Zealand and continued on to Hawaii more than 12 hours later. Thousands of people joined hands on beaches across the world to draw attention to the need for clean, sustainable energy.
In Washington, DC, supporters joined hands at the White House to show their solidarity with Hands Across the Sand, the grassroots organizers of the global event. Ethan Nuss of the Energy Action Coalition rallied the crowd of over 100 on Pennsylvania Ave Saturday afternoon.
This coming Saturday, June 26th, thousands of people will join hands -- literally -- on beaches around the world in opposition to offshore drilling. Will you be one of them?
Hands Across the Sand isn’t about politics. It’s about protecting our oceans, coastal economies and marine life from the disastrous effects of offshore drilling.
Participating is easy. Just go to your beach on June 26 at 11 AM in your time zone. Form lines in the sand and at 12:00, join hands. It’s a peaceful, simple way to send a message to state legislators, Governors, Congress and President Obama: It's time to end offshore drilling and transition to clean energy.
The movement started in Florida this past February, when thousands of Floridians representing 60 towns and cities and over 90 beaches joined hands to protest the efforts by the Florida Legislature and the US Congress to lift the ban on oil drilling in the near and off shores of Florida.
Check out this video from the event:
Join hands with us and draw a line in the sand against offshore oil drilling.
In his address to the nation last week, President Obama almost got it right.
He described his vision for America’s clean energy future, which includes wind, solar, and other renewable sources, in addition to energy efficiency.
But his vague entreaties for progress on this most crucial of issues left out vital specifics and he stopped frustratingly short of saying what is on the minds of so many of us in the wake of the tragic and seemingly endless disaster in the Gulf: it is time for a ban on offshore drilling.
When he introduced the creation of a commission to investigate the causes of the Deepwater Drilling Disaster, the president displayed the same stale mindset that has plagued so many before him: that through improved technology we can make safe what is inherently an unsafe, dirty, and dangerous practice.
We don’t need to improve offshore drilling: We need to ban it.
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.
That, essentially, is what Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar acknowledged with his approval of the Cape Wind project, the nation's first offshore wind farm, which has been in the works for nearly a decade.
Oceana's chief scientist and senior vice president Mike Hirshfield had this to say about the big decision:
"We hope that today’s decision on Cape Wind will help set in motion a series of actions leading to additional American offshore wind projects. It sends a clear signal to turbine manufacturers and supporting companies that the U.S. means business on clean energy and climate change.”
We have a long way to go on offshore wind in the U.S., but this is a crucial first step, especially in light of this month’s oil spill in the Gulf, which is oozing ever closer to landfall. After crews were unable to stop the oil spill with underwater robots, they are trying a new tack: setting it on fire.
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