Subject: Support Graham amendment to energy bill.
I urge you to support an amendment to the Senate energy bill that will be offered by Senator Graham to maintain the long-standing bipartisan legislative moratorium that protects sensitive coastal waters from new offshore drilling.
The energy bill currently contains language that would require the use of disruptive seismic surveys and other invasive technologies to explore for oil and gas within the entire outer continental shelf, including sensitive coastal and marine areas. Seismic surveys using loud undersea explosive pulses have been implicated in severe declines in commercial fish catches, fatal strandings of whales, and harassment of other marine mammals and endangered sea turtles.
The bill also requires that the Department of the Interior identify "impediments" to offshore drilling, including state or local regulations. This would set the stage for an attack on the rights of coastal states and local governments to have a say in offshore development and related onshore industrial development that affects their coasts.
The bill would erode protections that have been in place for two decades: Oil and gas leasing and pre-leasing activities have been precluded in much of the outer continental shelf since the early 1980s as the result of annual bipartisan congressional action and a presidential executive order signed by former President George H.W. Bush and extended by President Clinton to 2012.
The Graham amendment is necessary to prevent offshore oil exploration from threatening our nation's fisheries and our coastal tourism industry.
I actually do have work I should be doing, but I feel profoundly unmotivated today. And I did a heck of a lot of work on Friday -- I was supposed to be able to leave early, but ended up stuck at work til like 8pm...