Four years ago, America's worst oil disaster, the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, killed eleven people and gushed 210 million gallons of oil into the ocean. Today at least 14 species, including birds, fish and dolphins are struggling to survive and the once lucrative fishing, tourism and recreation economies of the Gulf have not recovered. We cannot allow Virginia’s coasts to become threatened by such an oil disaster!
Yet, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is setting the stage for future oil drilling in our oceans from the Arctic to the Atlantic over the next several years! BOEM has proposed a 2017-2022 leasing plan to open all outer continental shelf areas, including the Atlantic, to oil and gas lease sales.
Virginia’s lucrative tourism and fishing industries are completely dependent on maintaining the viability, health and sustainability of Virginia’s extremely sensitive and fragile coastal environment. Beyond catastrophic and recurring small oil spills, all drilling activities and day-to-day operations present a threat to both Virginia’s coastal environment and economy. Offshore drilling is not only dangerous to our oceans, marine life and people; increasing offshore oil drilling will accelerate climate change. Especially given Virginia’s extreme vulnerability to sea level rise, we must do everything within our power to stop further reliance on dirty fossil fuels that drive climate change.
BOEM is currently holding a public comment period until August 15th for their proposed plan, so we must make our voices heard and demand no new leasing in any OCS area be allowed! If we are serious about avoiding the most catastrophic impacts of climate change that have already been devastating the coastlines of Virginia, we have to keep dirty fuels like oil and gas in the ground.
Send a comment to The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and tell them to say no to new gas and oil leases and protect our oceans, wildlife and climate from destructive oil drilling!
2017-2022 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program
Dear [Decision Maker],
As one of the over 60,000 members and activists with the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, I am opposed to the proposed 5-year plan for Outer Continental Shelf ("OCS") oil and gas leasing. For sake of our planet imperiled by climate change, no new leasing in any OCS area can be allowed. Expanding offshore oil and gas leasing in 2017-2022, in order to promote fossil fuel exploration, production and combustion for many years thereafter, would undermine the nation's efforts to cut greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions and would jeopardize the health and safety of people in Virginia, in the U.S. and around the world, as well as our natural heritage, environment and national security.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]