WASHINGTON – Oceana, the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans, is outraged by the passage of a bill today in the U.S. House of Representatives that would require opening new areas on and offshore to oil drilling. The Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012 (H.R. 4480), which was falsely touted by its supporters as a means for energy independence and lowering gas prices, puts the Atlantic and Pacific coasts at risk of a future catastrophic oil spill. Oceana’s vice president for North America Jacqueline Savitz released the following statement in reaction to the decision:
“This bill does nothing but deepen our dependence on offshore oil. Instead of trying to drill our way to energy independence, we should be focusing on breaking our addiction to oil and investing in clean and renewable energy like offshore wind.
Rather than requiring more drilling in an energy crisis, as this bill does, we should be proactively building a clean energy foundation before a crisis occurs. This would allow us to utilize wind and solar energy, rather than having to tap into the strategic petroleum reserve in the first place.
It’s a fact that increased oil production in the U.S. will not lower gas prices at the pump. Yet this misconception is threatening American lives, livelihoods and marine life.
We know that offshore drilling is dirty and dangerous. Our government should be more worried about the environmental and safety risks of increased drilling. Instead, it’s a business as usual – drill, baby, drill – focus on the short-term profits in Washington.”
Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 550,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.