The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday, June 28th that will dramatically increase offshore drilling in U.S. waters. In a 235 to 186 vote, the five year plan will allow offshore oil and gas leases with the most promise for energy development. The offshore drilling practice has been proven to be dangerous in the past, with the memorable 2010 BP oil spill disaster on the Gulf Coast. There is the notion that energy and job creation comes before the environment.
With our deep moral need to leave the generations after us with a clean place to live, it is hard to believe that the benefits of this bill will outweigh the consequences. The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act will require drilling off Southern California, Virginia, South Carolina, and Alaska.
The Surfrider Foundation’s Pete Stauffer reacted to the situation by stating, “The Surfrider Foundation is deeply dismayed by the House’s decision to expand offshore oil drilling off the California coast, the Atlantic coast, and elsewhere. Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous practice that threatens the health of our oceans and the communities that depend on them. Instead of advocating for more offshore drilling, Congress should develop a comprehensive and sustainable energy plan that includes conservation.”
Without intense regulation, these drilling sites can be a major threat to the sustainability of the environment. Supporters of the bill are claiming that by putting more leases out there they will be creating over a million American jobs, lower energy prices, grow our economy, and strengthen national security. But at what price?