1. Drilling is bad for businessIn Florida our environment is our economy. Tourism amounted to $108.8 billion throughout the state in 2015. And when an oil spill occurs, as in the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, not only are tourist destinations affected, but the entire coastal economy suffers. Along the Gulf Coast, sections of coastline that never saw oil wash up on shore were nonetheless affected by public perception of the Gulf states as contaminated.
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2. Dead dolphinsSeismic airguns are used to find oil and gas deep underneath the ocean floor. These blasts are repeated every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for days and weeks at a time. Seismic airgun testing currently being proposed in the Atlantic could injure 138,000 whales and dolphins and disturb millions more, according to government estimates.
Impacts include temporary and permanent hearing loss, abandonment of habitat, disruption of mating and feeding, and even beach strandings and death. For whales and dolphins, which rely on their hearing to find food, communicate, and reproduce, being able to hear is a life or death matter.
3. Solar is now the most affordable form of energySolar technologies are now more competitive than ever, with large-scale installations costing less than half as much as coal for the same megawatt-hour production.
Solar also employs more people in the U.S. than oil, coal and gas combined. In Florida solar has created more than 1,700 jobs since 2015 with a new solar job created every ten minutes. (Psst...solar is better for the environment than burning fossil fuels, and they don't contribute to global warming. Also, we won't run out of sunshine.)
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4. The oil and gas industry has too much influenceDuring the 2016 presidential campaign for the White House, oil and gas industry executives and lobbyists spent more than $100 million on candidates running for office presumably in the hopes of having a greater sphere of influence over the future president and lawmakers. (Cough, cough, it appears to have worked.)
5. Accidents happenAlthough the oil and gas industry has taken many precautions since the devastating BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, which spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, offshore drilling still comes with significant risks. In 2014 there were 105 fires on drilling facilities located in the Gulf and seven “losses of well control” which, ultimately, was the beginning stage of what occurred during the BP oil spill.
Companies are also pushing their equipment to be used in deeper waters and to drill farther down than ever before. Drilling, by nature, is a risky business and the industry takes huge gambles at the expense of coastal citizens and wildlife.
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You can help.If you don't want to see drilling off the coasts of Florida, tell the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management.
They are accepting public comment until August 17, 2017.