Yesterday, Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman unveiled their climate change bill. As you know, the U.S.’s consideration of any climate change legislation is historic – but in the light of the Deepwater Drilling Disaster, the senators’ proposal leaves me dismayed.
The “American Power Act” trades away our oceans to the oil industry even as at least 5,000 barrels of oil continue to gush from the broken Deepwater Horizon pipeline every day. Here’s the first released video of the broken pipeline spewing oil:
The act gives states the right to bar drilling up to 75 miles from their coastlines, but leaves the Outer Continental Shelf – collectively owned by all Americans – for the oil industry’s taking.
The timing is shocking. The Deepwater Drilling Disaster is on track to be the worst environmental disaster in our nation’s history – and yet the Senate seems prepared to pave the way for even more dependency on dirty and dangerous offshore drilling.
And it practically goes without saying that allowing any new drilling, with or without the current catastrophe in the Gulf, does nothing to reduce our nation’s carbon footprint, which should be the goal of any climate legislation.
Other conservation groups are willing to trade away sections of the oceans to the oil industry for concessions in other areas. We are not.
Oceana opposes any climate legislation that promotes new offshore drilling.
We are hard at work on Capitol Hill. Our campaigners and I have been meeting with senators and their staff members to improve this legislation, which could prove historic if done right.
But I need your help. Please tell President Obama and Congress to stop new offshore drilling. The stakes have never been higher.
Andy Sharpless is the CEO of Oceana.