President Trump’s extension of an offshore drilling freeze, limited to Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia, has prompted unfounded praise from certain sectors.
However, by intentionally excluding North Carolina and Virginia in extending the moratorium, this Administration is targeting those states for offshore drilling, despite outspoken opposition voiced by their citizens and elected-officials alike.
Ocean waters must be uniformly protected against the hazards of offshore exploration and drilling. Oil-spills cannot be contained within state boundaries, and damages caused by drilling in the unprotected areas could readily endanger Georgia’s marshes, fisheries, and shorelines. Because no rationale was given explaining why certain states were being protected and others weren’t, nefarious partisan bias seems evident.
Moreover, burning fossil fuels is the major cause of the global climate crisis that’s now causing trillions of dollars in property damage from flooding and wildfires, widespread disruption of essential services, and an array of threats to global security, including international conflicts over essential natural resources.
At the same time, vast quantities of America’s fossil-fuels are being exported for corporate profit, while these politically influential profiteers shamelessly claim their destructive activities are vital to meeting domestic needs.
The longer the devious demands of the fossil-fuel industry are accommodated, the more catastrophic the consequences for life on Earth.
Instead of worsening the irreversible ravages of escalating global temperature by subsidizing these exports, U.S. officials should be rapidly reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and redoubling efforts boosting America’s urgently needed clean-energy transformation.
The partial moratorium on offshore drilling is a perilous, disruptive diversion.
David Kyler, Co-Director
Center for a Sustainable Coast
Saint Simons Island