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Is Nothing Sacred? Audubon Society Might Allow Oil Drilling in Sanctuary

Is Nothing Sacred? Audubon Society Might Allow Oil Drilling in Sanctuary

America’s coastlines are under attack, and whether you’re watching house-sized chunks of the Alaskan coast fall into the ocean due to climage change, or observing the Louisiana shore erode away thanks to leveeing along the Mississippi River and drilling for fossil fuels, it’s clear that they are losing the battle.

We normally look to well-known environmental protection and wildlife conservation organizations, like the National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club to take the lead on reducing and preventing this kind of degradation, but in these oppressive financial and political times, even they are struggling to maintain order.

The National Audubon Society’s Paul J. Rainey Sanctuary, a 26,000-acre rest stop for thousands of birds migrating south for winter, is one of Louisiana’s best-kept wetlands, but coastal erosion and the attack of seasonal hurricanes, and pooling water caused by nearby oilfield canals is threatening to destroy this pristine area.

In an unprecedented act of submission, the Audubon Society is now considering a measure that would once again allow oil and gas drilling inside the sanctuary.

“It’s getting to the point where there is so much damage, and it just costs so much money to contain the damage,” said G. Paul Kemp, director of Audubon’s Gulf Coast Initiative told NoLa.com. “We know we’re fighting a losing battle.”

Although the organization is claiming that profits from the concession would be used to pay for marsh restoration and expensive land-building projects that it can’t currently afford, one can’t help but wonder if they are simply giving up on protecting this marsh from the pressures of the fossil fuel industry which is closing in all around it.

The Audubon Society knows that it is entering dangerous territory by even considering this proposition, as in the minds of most environmentalists, the oil and gas industries are in complete opposition to everything that they are working to protect. In the past, the Society itself has reinforced this view, and staunchly opposed drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Rather than viewing this move as a complete act of surrender, the Audubon is trying to justify it in terms of the control that it would give them over what still remains of the marsh and sanctuary, and the ability to demand that the oil and gas companies meet or exceed current standards for maintaining the area.

NoLa.com reports, “Even today, Paul J. Rainey is surrounded by active oil and gas fields, both on land and out in the Gulf of Mexico. ExxonMobil owns nearly 150,000 acres, and private holders – including the McIlhenny family, which manufactures Tabasco – lease land to smaller energy firms.

‘There’s no way of stopping the development of oil and gas out here,’ Kemp said. ‘A lease gives us some ability to control things.’”

Take Action! Sign the Care2 petition to “Restore Coastal Louisiana

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Aerial View of Oil Drilling Platform in Marsh
IMAGE CREDIT: © Keith Wood/Corbis

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87 comments

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8:17PM PST on Jan 18, 2010

Jessica S. - - - - thanks for what?? Thanks for the idea of drilling in Audubon territory?? Thanks for the wildlife it will kill from the leaks?? Thanks for the pollution that comes from the oil?? Thanks for what??? It would be really good of you to get just a little bit more involved than just a thanks that we cannot place.
And Jackie W. - - - - what???? Elucidate!! it will not hurt you guys to spend five more minutes to express yourselves a little more clearly. WE REALLY NEED YOU TO DO THAT. NO OFFENSE, BUT WE NEED YOUR VOICES, AND WE NEED YOUR VOICES TO BE MORE, AND CLEARER! BUT THANKS ALSO FOR AT LEAST CARING ENOUGH TO WRITE ONE WORD OT TWO!!!

8:06PM PST on Jan 18, 2010

If the Audubon Society lets those people drill for oil on their protected land, - - - - I will never support them in any way ever again - - - - period!!!!!! We are trying to get this country switched over to other forms of fuel!!! We cannot do this if the stupid oil companies keep doing this!!!!!! All they can think about are their stupid wallets and bank accounts!!! They are powered by it, and their greed, and their selfishness, and their empty warped brains!!! MONEY, MONEY, MONEY,MONEY, MONEY!!!!!!!!!! I hope you drown in it!!!

8:00PM PST on Jan 15, 2010

I read some were that when the last tree is standing and there is no clean air or land to grow food on will people then realize we can not eat money? Barbara H.

10:26AM PST on Jan 14, 2010

Traitors - selling out for W H A T?
The mike vick of birds ... depressing, hopeless, where is our pride in Nature- god's gift to humanity - all of humanity; not just greedy money-mongers.

This is deeply wrong both ethically, morally and also on a spiritual level.
Who is paying whom to get this trafficking done?

Is there anyone out there trustworthy of our home, planet earth which provides all we need if we respect her "instructions."
Selling out is complete and utter disrespect which leads to disaster and dire consequences. Someone's karma is turning dark.

8:01AM PST on Jan 14, 2010

thanks

2:41AM PST on Jan 14, 2010

this is heart-breaking.

10:05PM PST on Jan 13, 2010

Hey Daylight, Don't give up on us American Indians just yet. We're still "fighting for Mother Earth and all our beautiful animals. There's alot of Native Americans on Care2 and I'm a Proud Comanche. Thanks for the compliment on behalf of all my brothers and siters.

9:25PM PST on Jan 13, 2010

The hardships of disrespecting our natural environment are already upon us. Mother Earth has certain rules and we disobey them daily. The rules are for our survival. We are too self-involved to follow those rules so we deserve the consequences. The American Indians were the last caretakers of our earth.

9:20PM PST on Jan 13, 2010

OH YEAH SHE WILL AND THE BAD THING IS INNOCENT PEOPLE GET HURT BY IT!

3:57AM PST on Jan 13, 2010

Everything in/on the Earth has a purpose for its existence, a purpose that makes our world function. Do people ever stop to think what oil is in the Earth for? And what will the consequence be when it’s all dried up? People think they are some Devine creature, taking and destroying whatever they want. The truth is that we are just a bunch of primate’s wayyyy out of control and the consequences will be dire. It's so sad to see, we should be smarter than that... but our major default is greed...

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