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Broward County League of Cities reaches hands across the sand – join them

Photo by Clay Wieland

On  June 10, 2010 at the Broward  County League of Cities board meeting, a resolution opposing offshore oil drilling passed unanimously. Included in the resolution’s language, it “strongly encourages all elected officials at the City, County and State levels to request the State government to consider enacting legislation including, but not limited to, proposing a state constitutional amendment to express Florida’s opposition to drilling for oil off Florida’s coast”. It further requests that a copy of this resolution be provided “to Florida’s Congressional Delegations, Florida United States Senators, Florida’s Governor and Cabinet, Broward State Legislative Delegation, the Florida League of Cities, the Florida League of Mayors, and any other interested parties.”

Governor Charlie Crist said it was “pretty definite” he would call for a legislative special session as early as July to consider a constitutional amendment that would ban offshore drilling off Florida, coupled with the possibility of looking at renewable energy options, in an effort to move toward “more green” technologies. This couldn’t be more timely as the Broward County Green Workforce Innovation Project will release their report on June 21 highlighting employment opportunities as well as detailed information regarding the PACE program. The PACE program is a property assessment program that should serve to support financing for energy efficient measures as well as create consumer demand for green technologies.

All this while BP continues to attempt a second cap to slow the rate of oil spill, the government has now stepped in to measure the flow rate. According to Coast Guard Adm. Allen “We still haven’t established what the flow rate is.”

According to the Pooling Expert Assessments report released June 8, 2010, the Plume team estimated with a 95% confidence that the average interval ranges from 15,000 to 40,000 barrels of oil per day. Contrast this with the original 5,000 barrels reported by BP. This then jumped up to an estimate at high as 60,000 barrels a day, with other independent scientists estimating 100,000 barrels.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said a proper measurement will help to assess accountability for the catastrophe and to determine the overall environmental damage.

“The amount of oil that leaks will help determine the amount of fine BP will pay,” Gibbs said. Knowing this puts in perspective why BP has not accurately reported the spillage to date.

The push to pass a constitutional amendment in Florida to ban offshore oil and gas drilling, supported by both Governor Charlie Crist and Alex Sink is critical because even as the disaster in the Gulf continues with no foreseeable end in sight, discussion continues at the federal level to only slow not stop the push for offshore oil and gas drilling along the outer continental shelf. These are distances usually from 10-27 miles off the coast. The Deepwater Horizon was approximately 50 miles off shore.

The panacea seems to lie in the reasoning that if the technology is sophisticated enough along with additional safety guards that all will be right with the world of oil drilling. This is a false assumption because the factor that can not be removed by technological advances is greed. If the intent is to circumvent the law and avoid regulations in order to enhance the corporate bottom line, then a company will always find a way around government controls.

The incident at Deepwater Horizon should not be seen as an unusual or unexpected event. The reality is that most of the oil rigs presently drilling along the U.S. coastline have older technology, the same or fewer safeguards as the Deepwater Horizon as well as aging equipment, some drilling at depths much further down than 5,000 feet below sea level. All oil rigs should be inspected for safety and if found lacking, shut down immediately. We potentially have hundreds of ticking bombs planted all along our coastline.

So, what would we do with all of these oil rig platforms if they were no longer used to drill for oil or gas? MIT has some ideas using the platforms to mount giant wind turbines where they avoid being a potential eyesore and provide unlimited access to wind. Proposed by Paul D Sclavounos, MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering, the floating platform would allow for it to be moved and shared among municipalities.Time to move renewable energy forward and take its place in center stage.

To visibly show your support for no more drilling, check out Hands Across the Sand. Hands Across the Sand is a movement made of people of all walks of life and crosses political affiliations. This movement is not about politics; it is about protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife, fishing industry and coastal military missions. Let us share our knowledge, energies and passion for protecting all of the above from the devastating effects of oil drilling.
On Saturday, June 26, groups all across the country will gather hands to protest offshore drilling and to place emphasis on the need for other resources.

“The image is powerful, the message simple,” said event founder Dave Rauschkolb. “No to offshore oil drilling, yes to clean energy. We are drawing a line in the sand against offshore oil drilling along America’s beaches and in solidarity events across America and around the world. No one industry should be able to place entire coastal economies and marine environments at risk with dangerous, dirty mistakes.”

Hands Across The Sand was founded by Dave Rauschkolb in October of 2009. He organized a statewide gathering on February 13, 2010, to send a message to Florida‘s legislators and Governor Crist that Floridians did not want them to lift the bans on near and offshore oil drilling in Florida’s waters. Thousands of Floridians representing 60 towns and cities and over 90 beaches joined hands to protest the efforts by the Florida Legislature and the US Congress to lift the ban on oil drilling in the near and off shores of Florida. Thousands joined hands from Jacksonville to Miami Beach and Key West to Pensacola Beach. The lifting of the near shore ban would have brought oil rigs as close as 3 miles from Florida‘s shores. Shortly after the event the Florida Legislature tabled the effort.

You can visit the main site to find the location nearest you, but at least four spots in Broward County have been set up.

RSVP for Fort Lauderdale Beach on Facebook.

There are also gatherings at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea pier, Deerfield pier and Pompano Pier.

All events start gathering at 11 a.m.

About Valerie J. Amor:
As an architectural consultant, LEED AP, LEED certification reviewer, real estate broker and AIA associate, Valerie J. 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 .

Related posts:

  1. Crist responds to Hands Across the Sand with special session on oil drilling
  2. Commissioner Gold new president Broward League of Cities
  3. Oil spill enters the loop current, Broward coastal cities meet to develop emergency plan
  4. Wasserman-Schultz on the BP oil spill
  5. Officials respond to oil near Florida beaches; 90 days to stop

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Posted by Valerie J. Amor on Jun 22 2010. Filed under Broward County, Federal Government, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Local news, Oil, Pompano Beach. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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