Target: Rep. John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Goal: Prevent “Big Oil” companies from drilling on public lands by urging lawmakers to vote against new energy bill
On June 19, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a new energy bill that will have serious environmental consequences if approved. The “Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act” (H.R. 4899) is designed to make gasoline more affordable by increasing the amount of drilling on public land. Consequently, areas known for their beauty and vibrancy, such as parks and forests, may be subject to harmful drilling operations.
Industrialized nations like the United States currently import most of their oil from other countries. With the introduction of this bill, drilling will not only be increased abroad, but greatly developed at home. Prioritizing fossil fuels in this way is extremely hazardous to our environment. People living in urbanized settings are already largely dependent on coal, gas, and oil, and passing this bill would not only strengthen that reliance, it would demolish what little untouched land is left in the process. Conservation group Environment America reports, “The United States depends on fossil fuels for 85 percent of our energy supply.” This creates a particularly dangerous scenario: Since fossil fuels are non-renewable and ultimately finite, our increased dependence on them can only end in disaster.
While drilling risks displacing animals from their native land and destroying local flora, perhaps the most destructive byproduct is the pollution to our environment. Oil drilling involves transportation via metal pipes, which can corrode over time and rupture, thus contaminating local water supplies. Even when transportation goes as planned, the pipes routinely dump waste into open pits that are very exposed. Additionally, drilling protocol often includes “flaring,” or the burning of unwanted natural gas in order to arrive at the oil. This results in the production of black carbon, which heavily contributes to climate change.
Fossil fuels are the leading cause of water contamination, air pollution, and global warming. In light of this knowledge, one would expect non-renewable, “green” resources to be a sound alternative. And yet, our leaders continue this futile quest for limited, “dirty” energy. Sign the petition below to tell our lawmakers that our reliance on non-renewable energy is destroying our lands and our health. Make them realize that fossil fuels are an addiction, and that if we do not treat the root of this affliction, the results could be catastrophic.
Dear Representative Boehner,
Oil drilling is killing our environment and endangering our health. With the introduction of the “Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act” (H.R. 4899), you seek to bring destructive drilling operations to our beautiful parks and plains. The passage of this act will not only increase pollution, it will make us even more dependent on dwindling resources.
The ultimate goal of this bill is to lower gasoline prices. What’s interesting, however, is that U.S. oil production has never been higher. In an annual statistical review, oil company BP announced that, “U.S. output grew 1.1 million b/d in 2013, up from 1 million b/d growth the year before, to reach 10 million b/d, the highest level since 1986.” Despite this record growth, gasoline prices still continue to soar.
Approving this energy bill will only further contribute to climate change, air pollution, and water contamination. In a world already plagued with these issues, increased domestic drilling will literally add more fuel to the fire. Therefore, I urge you to vote against this energy bill and to encourage your colleagues in the House of Representatives to do the same. Fossil fuels are an inherently harmful, limited, and temporary energy source. We as a nation deserve better and can do better.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: PO3 Patrick Kelle via Wikimedia Commons