Friday, September 26, 2008

Off-shore drilling does more harm than good LETTER - THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

I urge Congress to put sound policy ahead of politics when debating high gas prices. Some policies being floated in Washington, D.C., could have disastrous consequences for our coastal economies.

Some proposals would open up Washington shores for oil drilling. Tourism is one of the backbones of our economy. The impact a drilling operation would have on coastal hotels, fishing industry and related businesses, not to mention beaches, is unfathomable. No matter what Big Oil says, some oil and toxic waste spills seem inevitable with new exploration off our coasts. The risk seems to far outweigh the reward.

With less than 3 percent of the world's oil, the United States could drill every national park, wildlife refuge, and coastline and still need to import 60 percent of the oil we use based on current demand. Drilling won't deliver a drop of new oil for at least 10 years.

I recognize the need for Congress to take action on gas prices. I hope the Congressional offshore drilling moratorium remains intact, and Congress focuses on energy solutions that will really help at the pump.

Brian Smart


Brian is an active member of Surfrider Foundation's Northwest Straits Chapter.

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