Actress Kate Walsh, best known for her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery in ABC’s hit television shows “Private Practice” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” is joining Oceana in Washington, D.C. today to lobby members of Congress to pass important legislation that would expand offshore wind development in the United States. Her visit, which coincides with the third anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, is focused on the need to transition away from fossil fuels and towards a clean energy economy.
“It’s been two years since my last visit to Washington and I’m troubled to think that offshore drilling is still as dirty and dangerous as it was then,” said Walsh. “The U.S. needs to transition away from fossil fuels and offshore wind can help. We can no longer afford to ignore that this abundant and job-creating energy source is sitting off our shores. It’s time to put offshore wind to work in the U.S.”
Last month, bipartisan legislation to stimulate the development of offshore wind power was introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. If passed, the legislation would extend the investment tax credit for offshore wind produced in both state and federal waters.
Despite these efforts, President Obama is considering taking the first steps to expand offshore drilling for oil and gas to the Atlantic Ocean in an area twice the size of California, stretching from Delaware to Florida. If allowed, seismic airgun testing, which is used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor, would put marine life and coastal economies at risk along the entire East Coast. The government itself estimates that the use of seismic airgun testing would injure and possibly kill 138,000 whales and dolphins, while disturbing the necessary activities of millions more.
Oceana is now calling on the Obama administration to phase out the use of seismic airguns in U.S. waters and deny all current proposals that incorporate their use. Actor and Oceana board member Ted Danson has initiated a petition to stop seismic airgun testing on the White House’s website, which can be found at www.wh.gov/e8hu.
Kate is a long-time Oceana ambassador and has traveled with the organization to remote locations like the Caribbean and Belize where she works to persuade decision-makers to protect the world’s oceans.
For more information as well as photos from Kate’s visit to Washington, please contact Dustin Cranor at 202.341.2267 or [email protected].
To read Oceana’s new report about seismic airgun testing, please visit www.oceana.org/seismicreport.