Congress Considers Coastal Drilling This Week!


Hi Janice,

Last week we told you about renewed threats to our coast from off shore
drilling and asked you to help us pass a state resolution to show
support for protecting our coast. Now, as predicted, the House of
Representatives will vote Thursday on federal legislation that will remove the
current moratorium against drilling.

Please take a moment to let your representative know that you oppose
this legislation and want our coasts protected.

You can reach your representative at 202-224-3121. If you don’t know
who your representative is, that’s OK. Just tell the operator your zip
code, and he or she will connect you.

Here’s a message you can leave with the office: “Hello, my name is
_________, and I live in _________. I am calling to urge Rep. _________ to
oppose H.R. 4761 and protect our coasts from off-shore drilling.”

After you call, please report your call to us so we can keep track of
how many people are talking to their representatives. Then ask your
friends and family members to help out too by forwarding this message to
them.

To report your call, click here or paste this link in your web browser:

http://www.environmentcalifornia.org/action/oceans/reportcall?id4=ES

Background

The oil and gas lobby would like us to believe that after Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita we can drill our way out of our nation’s energy
problems. But we know that opening our shores to drilling would only put our
beaches, coastal waters and a valuable tourism industry at great risk for
a small, short-term supply of oil and gas. We can do better. If we
allow offshore drilling, we’d still face a long-term energy crisis while
our environment and economy would face new risks due to the pollution and
potential for catastrophic spills off our coast.

Offshore drilling activities, which produce a steady stream of
pollution, destroy kelp beds, coral gardens and coastal wetlands. A single
offshore rig can drill between 50 and 100 wells, each dumping 25,000 pounds
of toxic metals such as lead, chromium and mercury, and potent
carcinogens like toluene, benzene and xylene, into the ocean. This pollution
from drilling would cause health and reproductive problems for fish and
other marine life.

We’ve seen how oil drilling can devastate our coastline – The infamous
oil spill of 1969 spilled 100,000 barrels of oil off the Santa Barbara
coast from one of Unocal’s offshore platforms. Within days, the spill
contaminated 800 square miles of water surface, stretching to the
Mexican border. Thousands of birds died and fish stocks were decimated.

Accidents and operational violations have long been part of the
industry. A catastrophic spill — one that could spoil the ecology and
economic value of our state’s beaches for generations — is a real
possibility.

For the past 25 years Congress has voted yearly to extend a ban on new
offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration. In May, Congress voted
down an amendment in the Interior Department appropriations bill that
would have allowed gas exploration in federally controlled waters three
miles from shore and instead passed an amendment that will restore
protections for one more year.

Now, one month later, legislators, led by U.S. Rep. Richard Pombo
(Tracy, CA), are working to open up our coast to oil and gas drilling. His
proposal would pit states against each other and allow drilling 50-100
miles from shore, unless state legislatures affirmatively act to block
it every five years. States would have one year to act to block natural
gas leasing and three years to block oil leasing.This means that if
California voted against oil and gas drilling, neighboring states could
vote in favor of oil and gas drilling. This legislation is coming up for
a vote on Thursday.

California’s Congressional delegation can play a lead role in
protecting our coast. Currently, the oil and gas industry is counting on a
number of California’s Congressional delegation to support this proposal.
Our delegation could give them the majority they need to win.

Help us stop this pro-drilling proposal in its tracks. Please take a
moment to call your representative and let him/her know that you oppose
this legislation and want our coasts protected.

You can reach your representative at 202-224-3121. If you don’t know
who your representative is, that’s OK. Just tell the operator your zip
code, and he or she will connect you.

Here’s a message you can leave with the office: “Hello, my name is
_________, and I live in _________. I am calling to urge Rep. _________ to
oppose H.R. 4761 and protect our coasts from off-shore drilling.”

After you call, please report your call to us so we can keep track of
how many people are talking to their representatives. Then ask your
friends and family members to help out too by forwarding this message to
them.

To report your call, click here or paste this link in your web browser:

http://www.environmentcalifornia.org/action/oceans/reportcall?id4=ES

Sincerely,

Dan Jacobson
Environment California Legislative Director
DanJ@environmentcalifornia.org
http://www.EnvironmentCalifornia.org

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this
e-mail with your family and friends.

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