Take a sustainable approach-urge elected officials to take stance against offshore drilling

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By Valerie Amor, Green Examiner, guest columnist.

It was President Barack Obama during his campaign that stressed repeatedly that he would never support lifting the moratorium off the coast of Florida, “I intend to keep in place the moratorium here in Florida…to protect Florida’s pristine coastline.” Since his own words are stronger than mine in illustrating why we continue to mistrust our leaders to deliver on promises made during the campaign frenzy, I invite you to watch this video, Barack Obama on Offshore Oil Drilling, Jacksonville, Florida June 20,2008.
…and there is more, all captured and extremely well documented on the video stating that drilling for oil would show no beneficial results until the year 2030 and even then do little to lower our gas prices. A recent report by the Collins Center for Public Policy for the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida concluded that even if oil drilling were conducted off our coastline, it would produce less than one week’s worth of oil production for the seemingly insatiable needs of our country.
The press conference, Wednesday 3.31.10 held at 11:12 am EST at the Joint Base Andrews Naval Air facility in Washington DC, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and President Obama announced the vast expansion of oil and gas drilling off our coastlines. He stated that after careful deliberation over the past year with his staff that the “tired old arguments” between environmentalists and business would have to be put aside to do “what is right”. Instead of encouraging the production of electric or air vehicles or mass transportation he announced his new “increased fuel efficiency” program for cars, really? How about a sustainable approach that would have produced a real change?

It is time to realize that we are not getting what we signed up for. The president is clearly willing to use whatever means at hand to satisfy his agenda to push through his climate change bill, a bill that includes the expansion of nuclear power, clean coal and then tacked on like an afterthought solar, wind and wave. Following his definition of “what is right” is jeopardizing our futures; environmentally, economically and socially. He is ripping at the very fabric of our country. When we voted for President Obama we voiced with amazing unison that we as a country wanted a change. If our leaders fail to provide the leadership to provide that change then we must lead ourselves and create the change we want.

I call to every single Floridian and to every single American, we can’t afford the path he is taking us down. You each have a voice, a very strong voice. It is time to make him honor the commitments he made before he became president otherwise he is rapidly becoming the same kind of politician that we have always had. He is NOT making that change that works for us. There is clearly an agenda but it is not ours and NO! We did not get the memo.

We cannot accept that he will lift the moratorium on our coastline or encourage more nuclear power plants. We are directly in harm’s way, our environment, our economy, our safety. We need to say NO loud and clear. That he uses the same “tough decisions” line from his State of the Union address and states that he is “guided by scientific evidence” and wishes to “protect sensitive areas” is almost incomprehensible. Any fifth grade science teacher (no disparity intended) knows that there we have coral reef running along our eastern coastline, a fragile ecosystem that is already showing signs of stress and degradation. This doesn’t qualify for ecologically sensitive? Science is guiding his decisions?

Our local leaders, we need you to echo our collective public voice and let Congress know that we want renewable energy sources; we do not support a climate change bill at any cost. There needs to be a line drawn in the sand that we simply do not cross. We stood on the beach of Fort Lauderdale with others and declared our opposition. It is time to be proactive and become the Americans we want to be and demand not ask that respect and dignity be paid to us, to our country, to our planet.

For those cities who have already passed resolutions banning offshore oil and gas drilling and nuclear power expansion, we thank-you!

For those who have not, it is time. It does not matter whether you live on the coastline or inland, any accidents that happen and they will, will directly affect you and your family if not immediately then eventually.

I ask that you reach out to your city, your congressional leaders and let them know that this is not what we want. America, Florida, Broward County, you have found your voice now use it!

If President Obama can expand his program so can we.

“Tell Ten (million) Today!”

Cities and counties have already passed resolutions opposing lifting the moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling as well as opposing the expansion of nuclear power and so our expanded campaign begins.

Tell Ten (million) Today! that this is not what we want. Cities and counties who have not yet  passed a resolution banning offshore oil and gas drilling, now is the time!

“Tell Ten (million) Today!”

  • Davie – thank-you for passing a resolution for both!
  • Deerfield Beach – thank-you for passing a resolution banning oil and gas drilling. Please consider a resolution opposing the proliferation of nuclear power.
  • Fort Lauderdale – thank-you for passing a resolution banning oil and gas drilling. Please consider a resolution opposing the proliferation of nuclear power.

If you live in this city or county, please contact the Mayor and let your opinions be known, coastal community or inland makes no difference, we must support a healthy and safe environment for all of us.

Click here to find your Florida House of Representatives.

Click here to find your Senator.

President Obama www.whitehouse.gov / CONTACT/ Fax: (202) 456-2461, Telephone: (202) 456-1111

Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com Fax: (850) 487-0801,Telephone: (850) 488-7146 (850) 488-7146 (850) 488-7146 (850) 488-7146

To see who has passed resolutions and the language used, click on the interactive link provided by Surfrider Foundation of Broward. Any city that needs assistance in preparing a resolution, I offer my assistance. If you know of a city who  will  be passing a resolution, please let me know so that I may thank each and every city that supports banning offshore oil and gas drilling!

As an architectural consultant, LEED AP, LEED certification reviewer, real estate broker and AIA associate, Valerie Amor is dynamically engaged in sustainability and issues regarding the built environment. Actively participating in several local, county and national organizations and committees focused on sustainability issues, she is also owner/principal of Drawing Conclusions and founder/president of Green Collar Connection, companies engaged in sustainable design, real estate development, green job training and research. Knowledgeable and well connected she brings you timely and thoughtful articles. Reach her at vamor@bellsouth.net.

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