Target: Barack Obama
Goal: Reject plans to allow offshore drilling by Big Oil.
President Obama is still open to allowing oil companies to drill in the Arctic Ocean and new areas of the Gulf of Mexico. The decision leaves many wondering how serious President Obama is about combating climate change, which is arguably the greatest moral question of our time. It furthermore leaves him open to the accusations of hypocrisy and cynicism. Why protect the Atlantic Ocean but not Arctic and the Gulf of Mexico? Apparently, the latter two are not as politically sensitive, and so they are fair game for the oil industry.
The new five-year plan offers 13 lease sales—10 in the Gulf of Mexico and three in the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Alaska. Some of these Arctic areas are incredibly volatile, increasing the chances of another disastrous oil spill that would kill untold numbers of marine animals and would moreover be impossible to clean up.
In a response to the plan, the Center for Biological Diversity cites the scientific consensus, which holds that “atmospheric CO2 concentrations should be reduced to 350 parts per million to avoid catastrophic, irreversible impacts.” This goal cannot be achieved as long as we keep drilling oil and gas out of the ground.
The report goes on to state that “producing and burning… oil and gas reserves in the Arctic Ocean has the potential to release 15.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s equivalent to the emissions from all forms of transportation in the United States over a nine-year period.”
The Obama administration’s new plan is indefensible and contradictory to its stated commitment to combating global warming. Please sign the petition below, expressing your opposition to the exploitation of our planet for corporate profit.
Dear President Obama,
Your plans to offer 13 new leases for drilling in the Arctic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico must be reversed. Maintaining the integrity of these waters is critical to preventing the looming environmental catastrophe.
By allowing more offshore drilling, your administration is sending a dangerous message to the rest of the world: the United States is not serious about ensuring a sustainable future for our planet. The time to act is now. The transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy must begin immediately if we are to prevent irreversible damage to the environment.
Your public comments on this issue indicate that you’re aware of its urgency. However, your actions give the opposite impression. I respectfully urge you to rectify this by withdrawing your plans to open up the Arctic Ocean and new sections of the Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Vinay Deep