It's Time: Reinstate the Moratoria - Oceana USA
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April 8, 2009

It’s Time: Reinstate the Moratoria

Late last year, a contentious election cycle and high gas prices created a perfect storm that led to the elimination of both the Presidential and Congressional moratoria on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). After 25 years of consent on the drilling ban, the political winds shifted and now threaten to keep the United States on a path that remains dependent on oil – an indefensible path if we want to save the oceans from climate change and ocean acidification. Tell Congress today to reinstate the moratoria.While drilling advocates like to pretend that offshore drilling is safe and there’s an abundance of oil and natural gas waiting to be uncovered, the truth is that spills happen and the small amount of oil available in previously restricted areas won’t even lower gas prices. What’s more, any drilling allowed in the OCS will continue to contribute to climate change and ocean acidification by extracting large amounts of carbon-based materials that will end up in the atmosphere and ocean.Our oceans are at their limit and can not withstand the carbon dioxide released from the additional consumption of fossil fuels, including oil. Studies show that the increased carbon dioxide in the oceans, which causes the oceans to become more acidic, could bring the Southern Ocean to the tipping point of a food web collapse as early as 2030. The effects of opening more of the Arctic Ocean to drilling could be just as dire.American ingenuity and determination can certainly develop energy alternatives rather than develop more offshore oil platforms. Congress wavered in 2008, but we can get back on track toward protecting our oceans and ending climate change if you let your representatives know that you believe offshore drilling is not the answer. Drill home that point, by asking your representative to reinstate the drilling moratoria!