Partner Blog Post
As the Gulf Coast oil catastrophe quickly grows into one of the largest environmental disasters in United States history, Hampton Roads residents rallied in Virginia Beach today to call for a permanent moratorium on offshore drilling and a renewed focus on developing wind farms off Virginia’s coasts instead.
The Gulf Coast oil spill disaster is a tragic reminder that the price of offshore oil drilling is far too high. A similar spill off Virginia Beach could reach as far south as Cape May and reach into the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay.
Virginia is on track to become the first state on the East Coast to open its shores to offshore oil drilling following Bush-era roll back of moratoriums protecting Atlantic drilling. To demonstrate the risk posed by offshore oil drilling, we staged a mock “oil slick” at Virginia Beach’s oceanfront.
In light of the tremendous safety concerns raised by the Gulf Coast oil spill, the Obama Administration announced Thursday it was suspending hearings on a proposed oil lease sale off Virginia’s coastline. While we are encouraged by this announcement, we urge the Administration to replace the permanent moratorium on offshore oil drilling while re-doubling efforts to develop wind farms off Virginia’s coast instead.
Today’s gathering in Virginia Beach was part of a massive grassroots movement taking place around the country, of communities calling for an end to offshore drilling and the need to move towards a clean energy future. Over 50 protests nationwide are expected this week.