Top Reasons Not to Lift the Offshore Drilling Moratorium

Today, H2806 Offshore Drilling was introduced on the House floor. This resolution urges Congress to give North Carolina the choice to allow drilling on our coast.
The Sierra Club has supported the long standing Offshore Drilling Moratorium for many reasons, here are a few:

1) Drilling operations are harmful to marine environments. Toxic hydrocarbon waste in the form of drilling cuts and muds are inevitable byproducts of drilling. This gas based waste rapidly penetrates fish and other marine life thereby causing disturbances in their vital systems. Coastal marsh and wetlands are composed of still water, so toxins will not be easily flushed out.

2) A substantail portion of North Carolina's tourism industry is based on healthy and beautiful beaches. North Carolina is ranked the sixth most popular state for tourism, attracting 49 million visitors a year. In 2002, $12.538 billion of the state’s total $12.6 billion tourism revenue was generated in the eight counties bordering the Atlantic.

3) Gas prices would be insignificantly affected. Oil is a global commodity that's price is determined on international markets. Therefore, the average American consumer will see little if any savings at the pump. For example, the House Committee on Natural Resources Majority Staff reports that the number of US drilling permits have increased by over 361% between 1999 and 2007, yet gas prices have been and still are dramatically rising.

4) Offshore drilling distracts us from the real problem- our crippling dependence on oil. Alternative energy sources and better fuel economy are the real solutions to the problem.

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