The Beacon

Blog Tags: Offshore Drilling

Actress Sarah Shahi Wants to ‘Stop the Drill’

sarah shahi

Actress Sarah Shahi.

Actress Sarah Shahi is a rising star in Hollywood, and she also happens to be one of Oceana’s newest and most fervent celebrity supporters.

You might recognize Shahi from the Showtime series “The L Word,” where she played Carmen, a bilingual production assistant who moonlights as a DJ.  She has also appeared in the films “Old School,” "For Your Consideration,” and on the TV shows "The Sopranos,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Frasier” and “Alias.”

But when she’s not acting, she also plays the part of activist. This summer, she learned about our Stop the Drill campaign surrounding the Gulf oil spill and it struck a chord with her. On her Facebook and Twitter pages, she encouraged her supporters to take action with Oceana to stop offshore drilling. She changed her profile photo to a picture of herself holding a sign that read “Stop the Drill,” and she encouraged her supporters and friends to do the same.


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New Poll: 88% of Americans Want Science Before Drilling

Just in time for Secretary Salazar’s visit to the U.S. Arctic, today our colleagues in Alaska released the results of a new nationwide poll on offshore drilling. The poll, conducted by David Binder Research, shows that Americans overwhelmingly support a precautionary approach to offshore drilling. 

According to the poll, 88 percent of the American public thinks it is important for there to be a science-based approach to decision-making and for response capabilities to be in place before any drilling occurs, even if it slows the timeframe for oil drilling. 


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Breaking News: Rig Explodes in the Gulf

Breaking news: another rig has exploded in the Gulf. Deja vu all over again?

The AP reports that an offshore oil rig has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, west of the Deepwater Horizon.

The blast was reported by a commercial helicopter company about 9:30 a.m. this morning. Seven helicopters, two airplanes and four boats are en route to the site, about 80 miles south of Vermilion Bay along the central Louisiana coast.

It's unclear whether the structure is a production platform or a drilling rig or whether workers were aboard.

We'll keep you updated as we find out more.


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Day 8: A Minefield of Oil Platforms

Mike Hirshfield spots an oil platform

Photo © Oceana/Soledad Esnaola


In today's dispatch from Dustin, the crew is suddenly surrounded by oil rigs in the gulf:

The Oceana Latitude navigated through a minefield of hundreds of oil platforms (out of the thousands that exist in the Gulf of Mexico) today.

Although Oceana’s experts were aware of the size of the industry in the region, seeing the rigs in person put it into an entirely new perspective. It’s truly dumb luck that we haven't faced more problems up to now. Dr. Mike Hirshfield, Oceana's Chief Scientist said, "Seeing another Transocean deepwater drilling rig poised to resume drilling as soon as someone gives them permission sent a cold chill down my back."

And don’t worry if you haven’t seen one of these rigs for yourself, as Congress and the Obama Administration could be bringing them to a coast near you unless we all join together in opposition of new offshore drilling.


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Latitude Spies Evidence of Abandoned Oil Wells

black humps on the seafloor

Piles of black sediment indicate hydrocarbons on the Gulf seafloor. Copyright: Oceana

Yesterday, our scientist Matthias Gorny was unsure if he could identify indications of abandoned oil wells on the Gulf floor using the ROV from the Oceana Latitude. But in our dispatch from today, Dustin Cranor has let us know that Matthias has evaluated the ROV footage further - and this time come up with signs of an abandoned well 90 feet underwater. Along an otherwise flat seafloor, Gorny discovered a raised surface approximately three feet high with black sediment excavated by worms, which indicates a presence of hydrocarbons.

Check out this slideshow of images captured by the ROV.

 


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Oil Spill Quote of the Day

From today’s San Francisco Chronicle:

"We've said since news first broke and the extent of the gulf tragedy became known that it was certainly going to affect how people in the United States and California view offshore oil," said Tupper Hull, spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Association. "It's a game-changing event."


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Oceana is Vivanista's Cause of the Month

Our friends at Vivanista have named Oceana their cause of the month. A site featuring unique articles for women who want to live a philanthropic lifestyle, Vivanista featured Oceana’s Stop the Drill campaign in light of the oil spill in the gulf.

They are such fans of Oceana’s work to protect marine ecosystems and restore the bounty of the oceans that they decided to highlight us as their monthly cause. Take some time to check out Oceana's page on Vivanista and the rest of the philanthropic content they have to offer!


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New Drilling Moratorium is a Good Start

Yesterday the Obama administration issued a new moratorium on deep-water offshore drilling through Nov. 30 in order to ensure that oil and gas companies implement safety measures to reduce risks.

Oceana’s senior campaign director Jackie Savitz commended the president for the decision in an AP article, and had this to say about it:

“The Administration has no choice but to put a hold on offshore drilling. New drilling poses major risks, which we simply can not take, especially while thousands of victims of the ongoing drilling disaster continue to wait for an end to this oil and gas nightmare. 


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Louisiana Passes Clean Energy Resolution

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.


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Ten Myths about the Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

Photo by Kris Krug via Flickr

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.


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