Oceana campaign director Jackie Savitz discussed the dangers of dispersants on CNN’s “The Situation Room” last night, check it out:
And tomorrow she will testify before the full Senate Environment & Public Works Committee about the known effects of dispersants. Savitz will offer her perspective on use of Corexit, and will argue that dispersant use is “the lesser of two evils.”
In the hearing, entitled Marine Wealth: Promoting Conservation and Advancing American Exports, Danson will describe how government subsidies negatively affect the oceans and global seafood market, and he’ll explain why sustainable fishing is necessary to preserve ocean health and jobs.
So far more than 96,000 people have signed our petition to stop offshore drilling. That's nothing to sneeze at by any means, so thanks to everyone who has signed so far!
We still have quite a ways to go to reach our goal of 500,000 signers, though. Let's start by reaching the 100K mark -- add your name to the growing list and then spread the word via Twitter, Facebook and e-mail if you haven't already.
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.
I thought it was prescient when Oceana board member Ted Danson testified before Congress early last year about the dangers of offshore drilling. Now, in the midst of the biggest oil disaster in U.S. history, Ted has become one of the most visible critics of the oil industry and its false promises, most recently with an appearance on Larry King Live last week.
Ted's ocean activism goes farther back than the oil disaster, of course. I dug up a newspaper story about Ted's first appearance before Congress in April 1991. Still at the height of Cheers fame, Ted is introduced thusly:
"Gone was the carefully blown-dried hair, the red Corvette and the babe-seeking wandering eye of the country's most famous bartender: Cheer's [sic] star Ted Danson wanted to be taken seriously when he told Congress that President Bush's Energy Policy basically stinks."
The article, written with some skepticism about a Hollywood star's place in the halls of Congress, quoted Rep. Wayne Allard, who compared the amount of oil spilled into the oceans to "the teaspoon or so of gas that dribbles down the side of cars at the gas pump. 'Is that an unacceptable risk?' Allard asked."
Nearly twenty years later, it's not hard to tell who was vindicated by history, even if it's a bitter victory. As Ted said then about our energy policy: "It ain't working, guys. Something's got to change."
To view a PDF of the entire newspaper page, including a vintage photo of Paul and Linda McCartney debuting her frozen-foods line, click here.
Yesterday Oceana Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist Mike Hirshfield testified about the costs of offshore drilling before the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Here’s an excerpt of his testimony:
“Mr. Chairman, I wish you didn’t have to hold this hearing. For years, the oil industry has told us all that offshore drilling was safe. They repeatedly downplayed the risks and oversold the benefits. They tried to convince us that catastrophes like the Deepwater Drilling Disaster could never happen. I could easily fill my time with embarrassing industry quotes (like these.) I will spare you that.
We now hear calls for action to ensure that “this will never happen again.” We all wish that could be the case. But let’s be honest, we know another offshore oil drilling disaster will happen, caused by another unexpected combination of technological failure and human error. The industry is asking us to play a game of environmental roulette, and they are taking aim at a long list of targets. Will we see oil foul the beaches of the Atlantic seaboard next? The Pacific? The Arctic?
Breaking news this morning: A Coast Guard official says the “top kill” maneuver has stopped the oil leak that has been gushing into the gulf for more than a month, though engineers still have to seal the well permanently with cement before they deem it a success.
And more good news -- President Obama will announce today that he is extending the moratorium on permits to drill new deepwater wells for six more months.
Meanwhile, this morning Oceana Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist Mike Hirshfield will testify about the costs of offshore drilling before the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Oil isn’t the only pollutant pouring into the oceans these days. There’s another big one, only it’s much more insidious and widespread: carbon dioxide.
Today Oceana board member and actor Sam Waterston will be on Capitol Hill urging Congress to take action to stop ocean acidification.
Last year, Congress passed the Federal Oceans Acidification Research and Monitoring Act, which created an ocean acidification program in the federal government. Waterston will call on Congress to fully fund and implement the program.
"I will make it short and to the point," said Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida). "The president's proposal for offshore drilling is dead on arrival.” Senator Nelson was joined by New Jersey Democratic Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez.
The Senators also vowed to keep new oil drilling provisions out of any climate change legislation that comes out of the Senate, and Senator Menendez has introduced new legislation to raise the limit on the amount of money oil companies could be forced to pay for economic damages from catastrophic oil spills.
Here at Oceana, we’ve been fighting to reduce mercury use and pollution across the United States.
We’re working to ensure the passage of the Mercury Pollution Reduction Act, which would eliminate mercury use by some of the dirtiest chemical plants in the country, while boosting local economies through job creation and job-loss prevention.
95% of the Chlor-Alkali manufacturing plants in the U.S. are mercury free -- only four remain that use outdated mercury based production techniques. It is time for these last four plants to clean up their act. This bill would force them to do just that.