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Sierra Club to McCain: We Can't Drill Our Way Out of This

Date : Tue, 12 Aug 2008 15:54:06 -0400

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeff Tittel August 11, 2008 (609) 558-9100

Sierra Club to McCain: We Can't Drill Our Way Out of This

As John McCain (R-AZ) continues to push his domestic drilling agenda, the evidence continues to prove that his plan will benefit no one other than Big Oil. Despite McCain's assertions that the risk for oil spills is not significant, the senator cancelled a visit to Louisiana in late July after a 419,000 gallon spill caused a slick 12 miles long and closed a 29 mile stretch of the Mississippi River. "Senator McCain claims this cancellation was due to 'the weather,'" said Cathy Duvall, Sierra Club Political Director. "Apparently hundreds of thousands of gallons of spilled oil, dead fish, and oil-covered birds aren't ideal conditions for peddling a misguided plan for more offshore drilling."

This newest mishap once again demonstrates that oil spills are and will continue to be a serious threat to our beaches. In fact, the Department of the Interior reports that at least 113 spills occurred in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of Hurricane Katrina alone. With scientists predicting that global warming will cause more and mores severe weather, oil spills will be an inevitable consequence of offshore drilling.

Lifting the ban on offshore drilling would put beaches at risk and threaten New Jersey's $34 billion a year coastal tourism industry, as well as the fishing and shellfish-breeding industries. Last year the Sierra Club worked to defeat an attempt to allow oil drilling of the coast of Virginia because of this risk. With the Virginia coast less than 100 miles from the South Jersey beaches, drilling would have put beaches from Cape May to Sandy Hook in jeopardy. "The only oil we should ever see on our beaches is suntan oil," noted Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

Proponents of domestic drilling, including President Bush, have touted it as a solution to rising gas prices. Bush's own administration, however, acknowledges that drilling would do nothing to solve the problem. According to the Department of Energy, it would take at least a decade to bring new oil fields online, and even when new supplies did reach consumers, the effect on gas prices would be only a few pennies per gallon. McCain himself claimed that offshore drilling would help consumers' pain at the pump by providing "psychological relief." "John McCain seems to think we can rely on Jedi mind tricks to get us out of today's energy and economic crises," commented Duvall.

This drilling plan is yet another example of McCain's empty global warming rhetoric. While trumpeting the fact that he was among the first to offer comprehensive global warming legislation on the national level, his proposals promote coal, fossil fuels, and unsafe nuclear power, as well as ethanol, which is not only bad for the environment, but is causing a dramatic increase in the price of food worldwide.

While protecting outdated technologies, Big Oil, and other polluting industries, McCain's policies fail to invest in clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency, which numerous studies have shown is the quickest, most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"John McCain is in lockstep with the fossil fools in Washington, pushing Big Oil and the Bush Administration's agenda," concluded Tittel. "If the senator really wants to do something about global warming, he should stop looking for more of our natural areas to drill and start supporting technologies that offer a real, long-term solution to our oil addiction."


Becca Glenn, Program Assistant New Jersey Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618

609-656-7612: phone

609-656-7618: fax

Received on 2008-08-12 13:00:02

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at

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