Surfrider's Pete Stauffer: Let's Join Hands to Oppose Offshore Drilling
On Saturday, August 4, take to your local beach to say no to dirty fossil fuels.
Pete Stauffer is the Ocean Program Manager at Surfrider Foundation, an organization that works to protect our world’s oceans, waves, and beaches.
What beachgoer wants their ocean view ruined by this metal monstrosity? (Photo: Getty Images)
This coming Saturday, August 4, I will take part in Hands Across the Sand, a grassroots event that has become a global phenomenon. In solidarity with thousands around the world, I will join hands with citizens at my local beach to say no to offshore drilling and yes to clean energy. Our gathering in Oregon will be just one of hundreds of events occurring simultaneously to champion clean energy solutions to our filthy fuel problem. The goal: to urge our national and world leaders to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and embrace a clean energy future for a sustainable planet.
Florida surfer and restaurant owner Dave Rauschkolb created Hands Across the Sand when he decided to express his opposition to offshore drilling in 2009 by drawing “human lines in the sand.” His vision resonated powerfully with other Florida residents, and within months thousands of citizens joined hands at local events across the state. Shortly thereafter, the BP oil spill disaster occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, transforming Hands Across the Sand into an international phenomenon. In 2010, with the support of groups like the Surfrider Foundation, events were held in all 50 states and 42 countries.
Two years later, the message of Hands Across the Sand is more relevant than ever. Instead of heeding the lessons of the BP oil spill disaster, the Obama Administration is pushing forward with new offshore leasing—including drilling in the fragile Arctic—despite the failure of Congress to enact a single law to improve the environmental and safety oversight of drilling. Meanwhile, Republican leaders continue to champion the “drill, baby, drill” approach as the primary solution to our nation’s energy needs. The House has already passed several bills this year that would dramatically expand offshore drilling in U.S. waters, including off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
On August 4, join the grassroots movement to protect our coastlines from risky offshore drilling! A reality check is clearly needed here. Such proposals to expand offshore drilling are largely based on myths propagated by the oil and gas industry and politicians who rely on their campaign donations. That’s why the Surfrider Foundation is using this year’s Hands Across The Sand event to raise awareness on “Three Essential Truths” about new offshore drilling: 1) it will not reduce the price at the pump; 2) it will not eliminate America’s reliance on foreign oil; and 3) it is an inherently risky activity that causes significant impacts to the environment. Not only are we challenging D.C. politicians to acknowledge these truths, we are challenging all Americans.
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