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Aug 2 (Sat), 1:00 pm
Paddle Merrill Creek Reservoir
Aug 6 (Wed), 7:30 pm
Executive Committee/Planning Meeting
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Silver Singles Watchung Reservation Hike
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The Joys of Birding
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Fossil Fuels and Their Impacts... And, What Else To Do
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The Dangers of the Pilgrim Pipleline

Important Hearing on Offshore Drilling

Date : Tue, 27 Apr 2010 12:41:42 -0400

For Immediate Release
Contact Jeff Tittel: 609-558-9100 April 26, 2010

Important Hearing on Offshore Drilling Spill Baby, Spill

Earlier this month President Obama announced that the Atlantic Ocean could be open for oil drilling as early as 2012. The current proposal would allow ocean exploration for offshore drilling as far north as Cape Henlopen in Delaware, 10 miles off the coast of Cape May. The Sierra Club vehemently opposes the Administration's decision to allow ocean exploration for drilling.

Today the Mineral Management Service is holding a public hearing on seismic scoping in the Atlantic Ocean. This is the first step toward offshore drilling. Seismic scoping is not just detrimental because of the implications for drilling; it is the risky means to a toxic end.

Seismic scoping is the process by which shots of compressed air are fired into the ocean, often at the rate of every ten seconds. The intense noise radiates the ocean for thousands of miles. This has a harmful effect on marine mammals and puts commercial fishing in jeopardy.

Once ocean exploration is complete and the prospect of drilling becomes an imminent reality, the negative effects will be compounded and felt by the people of New Jersey. The oil rigs will be visible from the beaches. Any spill will undoubtedly contaminate our shores. It is not only the environment that will suffer from offshore drilling; New Jersey's economy will be hit just as hard. The state's coastal tourism industry is a $34 billion a year industry.

The recent oil rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana is a prime example of the impact that offshore drilling has. Eleven people were killed and dozens more injured as a result of the explosion. The Coast Guard rescued over 100 people from the capsizing rig which is still spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Currently it is estimated that 40,000 to 60,000 gallons of oil each day is being discharged from the sunken rig. The soil slick is 42 miles long and covers 880,000 acres, or the size of the New Jersey Pinelands.

If this catastrophe had happened 50 miles off of New Jersey, it would affect the entire coast and directly impact the area from Cape May to Barnegat Light.

It may take weeks or even months to stop the rig from disgorging oil into the Gulf. If a submarine cannot reach the safety valve on the rig, other alternatives will have to be considered to stop the spill. Despite all the talk of new technology to control spills, the old technologies of pumping cement down a pipe or drilling relief wells may needed to put a halt to this spill.

"The more the oil industry talks about new, cleaner technology for oil drilling, the more we see the impact from a dirty industry," said Jeff Tittel, NJ Sierra Club Director.

The New Jersey Sierra Club is extremely disappointed that the Obama Administration has chosen to revisit failed policies and promote dirty fuel. This is a major step backward for climate change and energy independence. We should be promoting green jobs and renewable resources, not continuing with the fossil foolishness of the past.

Christine Guhl Program Assistant New Jersey Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618 Tel: (609) 656-7612 Fax: (609) 656-7618 christine.guhl_at_sierraclub.org

Received on 2010-04-27 09:41:42

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 nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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