June 17th, 2008 17:36 EST
Florida Drilling Disaster: Mercury Discharges
Dear Judyth Piazza,
We`ve got just a few hours to stop a cynical drilling plan that could spell disaster for Florida`s famous beaches -- along with the dolphins, whales, sea turtles and other wildlife that make their home in the Sunshine State`s coastal waters.
Tomorrow Congressional allies of the oil and gas industry tomorrow will attempt to exploit high gas prices to end the decades-old federal ban on harmful drilling off parts of Florida`s Gulf Coast.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, your Representative, Congressman Dave Weldon, will cast a crucial vote on this issue.
The committee vote is scheduled for 10:00 AM tomorrow (June 18th), so please take just a few moments right now to speak out against this short-sighted, sham solution to high gas prices.
Step #1. Contact Representative Dave Weldon`s office at one of the numbers below:
- Washington, D.C.: (202) 225-3671*
- Melbourne: (321) 632-1776
* Phone calls to the Washington, DC office will be most effective, and residents of Polk, Osceola and Indian River Counties can call 1-800-939-3515 to be connected toll free. You may also contact Congressman Weldon by email here.
Step #2. Ask to talk with the staff member who handles appropriations.
Once you`ve been connected let him or her know that you oppose harmful drilling off Florida`s coasts. Just deliver this simple message:
My name is Judyth Piazza and I am calling from Vero Beach to urge Congressman Weldon to oppose an amendment, authored by Representative John Peterson (R-PA), which would lift the federal moratoria on oil and natural gas drilling off our nation`s Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Such drilling would do nothing to reduce gas prices for Floridians and would threaten the coastal waters and beaches that that are so important to Florida`s economy and the dolphins, sea turtles and other wildlife that need clean beaches and unpolluted waters to survive. ?
If you are calling after 5:00 PM or before 9:00 AM, please leave a message for the Congressman`s staff.
Step #3. Let us know that you took action.
Defenders staff will be tracking this vote very carefully, and it`s very important that we know how many people have contacted Representative Weldon, so we can hold him accountable for his vote.
It is crucial that you take action before the vote tomorrow morning, Judyth.
Drilling discharges mercury and other toxins into our fragile ecosystems. Such pollution can destroy beaches, and poison and kill the marine wildlife that we all care about. The noise from drilling is incredibly disruptive to our precious marine mammals. So while oil companies like ExxonMobil would continue to swim in record profits, dolphins and whales could become fatally disoriented, beach themselves and die.
And offshore drilling won`t do a thing to reduce summer gas prices.
Oil prices are set on the world market -- not by domestic supply. And any oil and gas from these offshore areas wouldn`t hit the market for at least 10 years. Even then, there is absolutely no guarantee that Exxon, Shell or any of the other oil companies wouldn`t just sell this oil and natural gas to China, India or other booming economies with ever-expanding energy needs.
For eight years the oil industry has had access to the White House and energy policy. There has been an explosion in drilling across the country. And yet, we have the highest gas prices in history.
The proposal to open up the few protected places on the Outer Continental Shelf is not a solution to high gas prices for consumers; it`s a corporate handout to an industry that is already profiting nicely from the public`s pain.
There are cleaner, quicker, cheaper, and safer energy solutions that save consumers money and protect America`s coastal resources and the local economies that depend on them.
For instance, just closing a loophole that allows SUVs to guzzle more gas would save the same amount of oil as drilling in these protected areas in just two years -- without risking our fragile coastlines and the wildlife that lives there.
Florida -- and the rest of the country -- needs smart energy solutions, not more dirty drilling. Please call Congressman Dave Weldon`s office now at (202) 225-3671 or one of the numbers above and urge him to protect Florida`s beaches and coastal waters -- not just the profit margins of the oil and gas companies.
As always, thanks for taking the time to make a difference.
Defenders of Wildlife