(April 29, 2010) – The still-unfolding tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico due to the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig has irrevocably shown that offshore oil and gas drilling is not conducted safely, securely or without harm to the environment or workers.
We call on the President of the United States to reverse his Administration’s proposal to expand offshore drilling into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic seaboard. In a speech on March 31, 2010 President Obama proposed, “opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development in ways that protect communities and protect coastlines.”
Statement of Dr. Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy:
“Clearly this disaster demonstrates that the conditions outlined by the President to allow more offshore drilling cannot be met by the industry no matter how ‘technologically advanced’ their equipment is. Therefore, President Obama and his administration should reverse their position on expanding offshore drilling while the government conducts a thorough investigation into the causes of this tragedy.
“Not only does offshore drilling threaten coastal habitats and place our coastal tourism economies at risk, it is a dangerous illusion as we seek clean energy options to address climate change. Increased domestic oil production will not reduce our dependence on foreign oil or drive down gas prices. Drilling for more oil will only feed our addiction. The only way we will ever reduce our dependency is to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.
“Even before this tragedy occurred, to promote offshore drilling as part of a comprehensive federal policy to reduce climate pollution would have been counter intuitive as more fossil fuel drilling will result in more carbon emissions.
“We need real solutions to move us away from dangerous and destructive energy sources and towards clean, renewable energy options. We already have technologies to help us transition away from petroleum: greater fuel efficiency, hybrid and electric cars, and cellulosic biofuels all hold the promise of a clean energy economy. Offshore energy sources such as wind and wave energy can help us break our addiction to fossil fuels while moving towards a clean energy economy.” # # #