In an age of remarkable advances in energy conservation and renewable energy technologies, at a time when global warming poses an existential threat to future generations, sacrificing our beaches and ocean wildlife is no longer, if it ever was, the price we must pay for progress. That’s not a world we have to live in anymore. Nor is it the future our children deserve.
That’s why, after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, we urged President Obama to ban all new offshore drilling off America’s coast. In 2016, he did and we applauded him.
In January, the Trump administration lifted President Obama’s drilling ban and vowed to allow drilling in nearly all of America’s coastal waters—even in areas where oil companies have expressed zero interest.
Under the Trump administration’s January announcement, oil and gas exploration and drilling would be allowed off the entire Atlantic Seaboard, the entire Gulf of Mexico, the entire Pacific Coast, and Alaska’s Arctic Coast.
In other words, we’d allow drilling nearly everywhere, putting hundreds of our beaches and millions of animals in the ocean at risk for oil we can live without.
Faced with strong opposition from Gov. Rick Scott, the administration reversed course—although tenatively, and amid some confusion—on one state: Florida. The reversal left other coastal state governors, leaders and citizens wondering: If Florida’s beaches are too precious to risk for the sake of oil, why not ours?