Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Pier Protest Against Offshore Drilling Includes Tongva Prayers and Bi-Partisan Objections

Sen Allen: "Our coastline is a vital part of our economy, an important public asset, and a treasured natural resource."

   This past Saturday, hundreds of protesters packed the Santa Monica Pier at the Protect the Pacific rally, to take a stand against Trump's plan to dramatically increase offshore drilling off the California Coast.

  Senator Ben Allen of California's 26th district, along with the Ocean Protectors Coalition of Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples, Aim SoCal, Sierra Club, Heal the Bay, the Center for Biological Diversity and many other groups joined together to show strong unified opposition the federal government's new proposal to open the coast of California to new offshore drilling. According to Senator Allen, "Our coastline is a vital part of our economy, an important public asset, and a treasured natural resource."

  Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, graced the protesters at the rally with her presence. Her message resounded with the force of the Pacific waves  as she said, "Trump's decision to expand offshore oil drilling is all about money. IT is yet another appalling giveaway to Trump's wealthy friends in the oil and gas industry."

  The opposition to the drilling is bipartisan. According to the LA Times,  "Nothing galvanizes bi-partisan resistance in California like the threat of more offshore oil drilling," coastal commission Chairwoman Dayna Bochco said in a statement. "We've fought similar efforts before, and we will fight them again."

   Ancestors of the Tongva people, who were the first inhabitants of the Ballona Wetlands, participated at the Protect the Pacific rally; it is their prayers, songs and words, that give voice to the seals, pelicans and other marine sea birds whose lives are endangered by potential spills from offshore oil and gas drilling.  

  According to Steve Jones, media specialist of the Center for Biological Diversity, "Oil spills pose acute risk because it coats wild life and kills them."

  In fact, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, an analysis of the effects of Trump's offshore proposal revealed that the plan could cause more than 5000 oil spills which would dump 34.4 million gallons of oil into ocean waters off Alaska, the West Coast, East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. About 12 per cent of the spills would be along the west coast, mostly in southern California.

  Trump's five year offshore drilling plan is extended to all federal waters in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. The oil drilling will lead to fossil fuel burning which inevitably will contribute 49.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide pollution, according to an analysis made by Center for Biological Diversity.

  With drilling, comes spills, just as with pipelines, come leaks. These are the by-products the oil companies accumulate along with their wealth.

  Californians do not want oil spills to disrupt their lives, pollute their beaches or bring commerce to a halt just because trump plans to ramp up offshore oil drilling here, and in every ocean coastline in the nation.

  The Center for Biological Diversity will take the necessary steps to expose the Trump administration and other government officials, "who value profits and pollution over people and wildlife."

  The Trump administration's amped up unprecedented five year proposal (2019-2024) to offer oil leases off of every coast in America  severely threatens an increase in oil spills. According to the Center for Biolgica Diversitiy, "On the West Coast alone, caring out Trump's plan is expected to cause 657 spills, dumping more than 4 million gallons of oil into the coaster waters of the Pacific" Although Obama's 2017-2022 leasing plan estimated a maximum of 546 spills, Trump's plan will significantly increase the risk of oil spills. ,

  "Oil spills do long lasting damage to marine ecosystems and wildlife, from the smallest plankton to sea turtles and dolphins," said scientist Abel Valdivia of Center for Biogical Diversity.  He also said, "Marine organisms are already under significant stress from overfishing pollution and climate change, and toxic oil spills are the last thing they need."

  The potential impact of an oil spill from Trump's plan would be catastrophic for our wildlife. If people's voices are not heard, then voices of the animals will be silenced.

  Attending the protest was the first step. The next step is to contact the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (OEM), which is an agency within the Department of Interior, and submit a comment opposing the offshore drilling, or attend the public meeting in Sacramento on February 8th where peoples' voices will be heard by government officials.

  Spreading awareness  thorugh social media of the dangers of offshore drilling is also an important way to get the message out.      .

   .As Maxine Waters said, "We must resist Donald Trump's callous disregard for the environment. We must resist his appalling decision to open up California to offshore oil drilling."

  Californians do not want their coast polluted by oil spills caused by Trump's recklessness. It isn't a matter of if, but when the marine life in our coastal regions will meet their death in a coat of oil. 

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