Let’s Tell BOEM:
Don’t Drill Our Coasts!
It’s been two years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster and the disastrous effects are nowhere near to being fully understood. Yet federal regulators and business interests want to get back to business as usual and open huge swaths of the Atlantic coast to new offshore oil and gas drilling. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has proposed opening the Mid- and South Atlantic to offshore oil and gas exploration, which is the first step toward drilling. We urge you to contact BOEM and let them know that you do not want to see new oil or gas drilling or exploration off our coast.
Tell them that you don’t want drilling off our coast!
Comments to GGEIS@boem.gov will be taken until May 30, 2012. Write a letter of your own based on our talking points below or submit comments using our sample letter. See our Take Action page for additional information.
Sample Talking Points
- In the aftermath of the Gulf oil tragedy, I do not support new drilling off our coast.
- The Mid- and South Atlantic coasts have arguably the best offshore wind energy resources in the country and could power tens of millions of homes. I support offshore wind as a clean, renewable energy source with no pollution, no water use, no fuel costs, and no risk of running out.
- Unnecessary ocean exploration activities, particularly invasive seismic testing, can be harmful to marine life and should not be allowed for oil and gas exploration, particularly during sensitive seasonal migration periods.
- The mid- and south Atlantic region supports tens of thousands of fishing industry jobs, resulting in tens of billions of dollars in recreational and commercial fishing sales. Our region’s tourism industry employs hundreds of thousands of people and generates tens of billions of dollars per year. Tourism and fishing are both threatened by offshore drilling and shouldn’t be put at risk.
Mr. Gary D. Goeke
Chief, Regional Assessment Section
Office of Environment (MS 5410)
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Gulf of Mexico OCS Region
1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard,
New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394
Re: Comments on the Draft PEIS for Atlantic G&G Activities
Dear Mr. Goeke:
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the Atlantic G&G activities PEIS. As a coastal constituent adjacent to the Mid- and South Atlantic Planning Areas, I encourage BOEM to adopt Alternative C—the no action alternative—in its programmatic environmental impact statement. Our concerns regarding the potential impacts oil and gas exploration and development could have on the Atlantic coast’s natural environment, tourism and fishing industries, and quality of life are outlined below.
The Atlantic coast currently enjoys a vibrant tourism industry and thriving fisheries that contribute significantly to both our quality of life and economy. Tens of thousands of people are employed in the fishing industry, and commercial and recreational fishing account for tens of billions of dollars in sales per year. Our region’s tourism and recreation industry generates tens of billions of dollars in revenue per year and employs hundreds of thousands of coastal residents.
Not only are our economies largely based on the vitality of our coastal resources, but culturally we identify with our coastal heritage and are proud of our region’s natural beauty. Therefore, maintaining a healthy coast is of the utmost importance to our region. It is our goal to preserve the integrity of our beaches, marshes, and waterways for our coastal residents and the many tourists from all over the world who share our enjoyment of these special places.
Offshore geological and geophysical (G & G) activities and eventual drilling can be harmful to the marine and coastal environment and thus would be inconsistent with our stated priority of maintaining our coastal resources. Acoustic pollution caused by oil and gas G & G activities such as the use of airguns, aeromagnetic surveys, and the drilling of test wells has proven associations with major impacts to marine mammals, turtles, and fish. Waterborne pollution such as drilling fluid and potential test well blowouts further compromises the health of our waters. The vitality of aquatic ecosystems and the beauty of our region is non-negotiable for our fishers, shrimpers, and crabbers, our tourists, and our coastal residents’ way of life.
Furthermore, given that we would not support eventual commercial oil or gas drilling off our coast following the exploration process, surveying activities would be a wasteful investment of time, money, and energy. In the wake of the Gulf oil disaster, as well as the many other lesser-known blowouts that occur every year, we insist that the risk of blowouts alone is enough to outweigh the benefits of drilling. Clean renewable energy sources are becoming less expensive by the day and are a much smarter investment than risky offshore drilling.
Since offshore oil and gas prospecting and potential eventual drilling would be harmful and risky to our coastal economy, natural beauty, and way of life, I urge you to implement Alternative C and not allow G & G activities for oil and gas in the Mid- and South Atlantic Planning Areas.