New proposals to drill for oil and gas off the South Atlantic coast terrify me— they are starting to hit close to home. Countless hazards emerge with offshore drilling that endanger human health, devastate marine life, and threaten our economy. Drilling and oil-spilling go hand in hand, and spills mean ruined beaches, dangerous chemical clean-ups, and contaminated seafood among countless other repercussions.
Our oceans are already in crisis — we cannot afford to put them anymore at risk. 200 million gallons of crude oil ended up in the oceans from the 2010 BP oil spill. That can’t happen again. U.S. government research projects that 138,000 Atlantic whales and dolphins will be killed or injured by the proposed seismic testing off the coast for drilling. Approximately 200,000 migratory birds are killed every year near offshore drilling rigs just in the Gulf of Mexico. Seismic testing and subsequent drilling pose an enormous threat to the Atlantic Ocean and therefore to our economy and society.
It seems to me that President Obama, lately heralded by many as a new champion for the environment, ought to be pushing for more renewable energy infrastructure rather than approving these detrimental offshore drilling endeavors in the name of energy independence. It is urgent that Georgia’s communities and businesses stand up against these efforts to drill off the South Atlantic coast—for the sake of our beaches, our economy, our safety, and our beautiful ocean. We need to call on Obama and regulators to oppose these disastrous drilling efforts.
Sincerely, Christopher Kennedy Mableton, GA
This July fourth weekend is a wonderful time for families to be together and celebrate our nation’s independence. One great way many do this is by vacationing at the beach and enjoying fireworks while lying on the sand. Georgia’s beaches are not only important to the people who visit them. Tourism makes up 10% of Georgia’s employed and fishing makes up 3%. In late January, the Obama administration released plans to open up the southeast coast to oil drilling. This is a huge problem for Georgia’s coast. An oil spill would have disastrous effect on the economy of coastal communities. Previous attempts to drill in open waters has proved, such as the Deep Water Horizon rig, when you drill, you spill. This is not a question of if, only a matter of when. We need to call on Obama to halt plans to allow oil companies to drill. Do not let our state’s beaches become victims to another spill.