The Beacon

Blog Tags: Offshore Drilling

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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Tears and Laughter at TEDxOilSpill

Oceana Pollution Campaign Director Jackie Savitz. (Photo by Kris Krug)

After watching and reading news reports and blog posts about the Gulf oil spill for more than two months, I was wondering if anything new could be said about the catastrophe.

As I found out at yesterday’s TEDxOilSpill conference, the answer is a resounding yes. Scientists, entrepreneurs, anthropologists, activists, musicians and writers came together to vent, and to try and wrap their heads around how this could have happened, and to bat around solutions, immediate and long-term.

Over and over, I heard riffs on a theme: this is an unprecedented disaster, and we are still in the thick of it. We don’t know how bad it will get, or what the long-term effects will be. And now is our moment to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless fired off a list of ten myths about the oil spill and offshore drilling, and Oceana campaign director Jackie Savitz told the crowd that “it is time to tell the pusher (Big Oil) that we’re going clean.”

It was an intellectually and emotionally exhausting day – several presenters were brought to tears during their presentations.


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The World Joins Hands Against Offshore Drilling

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. 


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Oil Spill Quote of the Day #2

From Monday’s Sydney Morning Herald:

"Well, to quote Tony Hayward, he has got his life back, he would say," [White House Chief of Staff Rahm] Emanuel said of the outing at the yacht race, alluding to an earlier remark by Hayward that incensed political Washington.

 ...

Emanuel added: "What's more important is, do the people down there in that area have their life back? Do they have their livelihood back?"


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Kate Walsh on ‘Morning Joe’

For the second time in a week, actress Kate Walsh spoke out against offshore drilling on Oceana’s behalf. Yesterday she appeared on ‘Morning Joe,’ where she discussed her new off-Broadway play, “Dusk Rings a Bell” (including a funny anecdote involving a hearing aid) -- and she encouraged viewers to Stop the Drill.

Thanks for the support, Kate!

 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


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Help Us Hit 100K Signatures!

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.


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Join Hands Across the Sand on June 26th

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:

Hands Across The Sand from Walton Outdoors on Vimeo.

Join hands with us and draw a line in the sand against offshore oil drilling.


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Join Us at TEDxOilSpill Next Monday

TED conferences “bring together the world's leading thinkers and doers for a series of talks, presentations and performances.” So it was only a matter of time until TED tackled the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Next Monday, TEDxOilSpill will tackle the tough questions raised by the ongoing environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. And you can be a part of the conversation.

Topics will include: mitigation of the spill and the impending cleanup efforts; energy alternatives; policy and economics; and new technology that can help us build a self-reliant culture.

The presenters will include the following experts:


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President Obama Almost Gets it Right

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.


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Kate Walsh on The View: Stop the Drill

Yesterday, Kate Walsh spent some time on the couch with the ladies of The View. After talking about past and possible future love affairs of Dr. Addison Montgomery, Kate spoke passionately and eloquently about the BP oil disaster and the need to stop offshore drilling. But don't take my word for it - check her out for yourself.

 

We are at almost 100,000 signatures! Add your name to the fight against offshore drilling - sign the petition to Stop the Drill today.


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