My letter to Interior Secretary Salazar

As a supporter of Defenders of Wildlife and someone who cares about protecting America’s coasts I strongly urge the Department of Interior to discard the hastily prepared Five-Year Offshore Drilling Plan for 2010-2015.

This reckless plan would pave the way for industrializing America’s coasts, threatening some of our waters’ most beautiful marine life. Is this what you want for our children, a life without sharks, without dolphins and seals. This is serious!

* Sea otters off the coasts of California, the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska;

* Endangered sea turtles off Florida’s coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico;

* Threatened polar bears in the Chukchi Sea;

* Endangered North Pacific right whales; and

* Scores of marine birds and other species that rely on clean, healthy coasts to survive.

Drilling rigs spew air pollution and toxic mercury emissions that can poison marine wildlife. Oil and gas exploration activities, including equipment that blasts high intensity pulses, may cause disruption in feeding, migration and other essential behaviors in endangered whales.

Increased tanker traffic raises the specter of another cataclysmic oil spill that could threaten coastal wildlife and wreck the beautiful beaches where millions of Americans live or vacation. It’s not hard to find examples of the threat that oil and fuel spills cause…

* Since August 21st, an oil rig off Australia’s northwest coast began spewing oil into the East Timor Sea, threatening turtles, whales, dolphins, sea birds and sea snakes. 

* In July, an underwater pipeline that carries oil from offshore drilling leaked about 58,800 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

* In November, 2007, a cargo vessel spilled approximately 58,000 gallons of medium grade fuel into the San Francisco Bay. Marbled murrelets, brown pelicans and western snowy plovers — all federally protected threatened or endangered species — were killed in the incident.  

We must not sacrifice America’s coasts — and the wildlife and local economies that depend on them — in the name of dirty drilling. Please reject the previous aministration’s offshore drilling plan and protect America’s wildlife.

The conservation and preservation of my environment is near the top of my agenda. I expect it to be at the top of yours. Dont give in to drillers who seek only financial gains. Force US to produce less oil so we can develop more green technologies and alternative fuels. Oil is no longer a socially acceptable. method of transportation. Its time to get with the program!


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