Two weeks ago, a federal appeals court dealt a blow to America’s wildlife when they opened the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska to Shell for oil and gas drilling — ruling against environmentalists who claimed exploration would harm the polar bear life there. It reaffirms more than ever why we need to impose a federal time-out on destructive offshore oil drilling in the Arctic.
On the Bush Administration’s very last business day in office, they proposed a new five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing. In fact, they initiated this plan two years ahead of schedule, claiming it was because rising oil prices meant we needed to reconsider domestic drilling options. I’m sure it had nothing to do with Obama’s victory in the 2008 elections and thier subsequent desire to push everything through before they had to vacate the White House.
The oil industry’s trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, spent nearly $1.9 million on lobbying last quarter – almost twice as much as it did in the second quarter of 2008 — to promote domestic offshore drilling and stop global warming legislation.
Upon taking office, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has done his best to promote a progressive agenda about oil drilling — but he needs our help to keep it up. He extended the government comment period on this Bush oil drilling plan until September 21 (add your comment here!) in an effort to give us a chance to adequately respond. He’s attended hearings around the country to get people’s reactions to his oil plan. He’s stated future plans should be based on science. And he’s supported more renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
But one lone voice cannot overcome the best lobbyists millions of oil dollars can buy.
That’s why it’s so critical that we as a country come together to oppose oil drilling. Even if you’ve signed a petition before — or signed hundreds of petitions before — opposing oil drilling, we need you to sign again today. Only through offering our thousands of voices together will we create a grassroots effort to overcome Big Oil.
If we all add our comments, our sheer numbers give Secretary Salazar a foundation for opposing offshore drilling for the next five years — and putting to rest bad Bush Administration policies. Please sign today.