Tag Archives: Gulf of Mexico

Indigenous Leaders Hail Biden’s Proposed Chaco Canyon Drilling Ban as ‘Important First Step’

“We are most hopeful that this action is a turning point where the United States natural resource management planning philosophy focuses on the protection of all living beings.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 11-15-2021 by Common Dreams

Deb Haaland—then a Democratic congresswoman representing New Mexico’s First District but now U.S. interior secretary—visits Chaco Canyon in 2019. (Photo: Monica Sanchez/Natural Resources Democrats/Flickr/cc)

A coalition of Southwestern Indigenous leaders on Monday applauded President Joe Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland following the announcement of a proposed 20-year fossil fuel drilling ban around the sacred Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico—even as the administration prepares to auction off tens of millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas extraction later this week.

“Chaco Canyon is a sacred place that holds deep meaning for the Indigenous peoples whose ancestors lived, worked, and thrived in that high desert community,” Haaland—the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history—said in a statement Monday. Continue reading

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Climate Coalition Demands Biden Halt ‘Outrageous’ Offshore Drilling Auction—Largest in US History

The proposed lease sale, said over 250 groups in a joint letter, “shockingly offers more area than the Trump administration initially proposed.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 11-10-2021 by Common Dreams.

Offshore oil rig off Catalina Island. Ohoto: arbyreed/flickr/CC

As the Biden administration prepares to auction off more than 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for fossil fuel extraction, over 250 advocacy groups published an open letter on Wednesday imploring U.S. President Joe Biden to cancel the sale and fulfill his promises of bold climate action.

At least 267 organizations, including 36 representing Gulf of Mexico communities, sent the letter to Biden, who just last week promised the world at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland—also known as COP26—that the United States will be “leading by the power of our example” in the fight against the planetary emergency. Continue reading

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‘When We Drill, We Spill’: Climate-Fueled Ida Behind Suspected Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico

“This is yet another reminder of the major risks posed by offshore drilling for dirty, dangerous fossil fuels we increasingly don’t need.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-2-2021

Photos captured by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aircraft August 31, 2021 and reviewed by the Associated Press show a miles-long black slick floating in the Gulf of Mexico near a large rig. (Photo: NOAA via AP)

As Louisiana residents and officials begin the recovery process in the wake of Hurricane Ida, environmental campaigners responded Thursday to reporting of a suspected oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by saying such scenes “are reminders that when we drill, we spill.”

“On top of the devastation that people are still experiencing onshore, we are now learning about an oil slick in the Gulf, not far from the Louisiana coast,” said Kelsey Lamp, Protect our Oceans campaign director with Environment America, in a statement. Continue reading

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Sea level rise is killing trees along the Atlantic coast, creating ‘ghost forests’ that are visible from space

Ghost forest panorama in coastal North Carolina. Emily Ury, CC BY-ND

Emily Ury, Duke University

Trekking out to my research sites near North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, I slog through knee-deep water on a section of trail that is completely submerged. Permanent flooding has become commonplace on this low-lying peninsula, nestled behind North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The trees growing in the water are small and stunted. Many are dead.

Throughout coastal North Carolina, evidence of forest die-off is everywhere. Nearly every roadside ditch I pass while driving around the region is lined with dead or dying trees. Continue reading

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Lawmakers Urge Biden to Block Massive Petrochemical Complex in Cancer Alley

“This disastrous project is an affront to environmental justice and contrary to your goals to reduce pollution in frontline communities.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-18-2021

Environmental justice campaigners across the country have spoken out against the proposed Formosa Plastics Complex in Louisiana. (Photo: Louisiana Bucket Brigade/Twitter)

A pair of lawmakers known for fighting for environmental justice in Congress sent a letter to the White House on Wednesday urging President Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises to curb pollution in frontline communities by permanently blocking a large petrochemical complex in an area of Louisiana called “Cancer Alley.

Residents of St. James Parish, Louisiana and environmental justice advocates nationwide have come out against the Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group’s plans for a $9.4 billion complex that would release cancer-causing chemicals and, according to one watchdog’s estimate, produce 13.6 million tons of planet-heating emissions per year. Continue reading

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Retired oil rigs off the California coast could find new lives as artificial reefs

A school of juvenile bocaccio in the midwaters of Platform Gilda, Santa Barbara Channel, Calif. Scott Gietler, CC BY-ND

Ann Scarborough Bull, University of California, Santa Barbara and Milton Love, University of California, Santa Barbara

Offshore oil and gas drilling has been a contentious issue in California for 50 years, ever since a rig ruptured and spilled 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of crude oil off Santa Barbara in 1969. Today it’s spurring a new debate: whether to completely dismantle 27 oil and gas platforms scattered along the southern California coast as they end their working lives, or convert the underwater sections into permanent artificial reefs for marine life.

We know that here and elsewhere, many thousands of fishes and millions of invertebrates use offshore rigs as marine habitat. Working with state fisheries agencies, energy companies have converted decommissioned oil and gas platforms into manmade reefs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Brunei and Malaysia. Continue reading

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The Cost to You and Me of Proposed Offshore Drilling? $179.2 Billion

‘Not accounting for the social cost of carbon in federal leasing decisions is a negligent disregard for the public safety.’

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-10-2016

A Break Free From Fossil Fuels action outside the White House in March 2016 calls on President Obama to stop new offshore drilling. (Photo: Erica F/flickr/cc)

A Break Free From Fossil Fuels action outside the White House in March 2016 calls on President Obama to stop new offshore drilling. (Photo: Erica F/flickr/cc)

Representing “negligent disregard for the public safety,” the Obama administration’s proposal for selling fossil fuel companies new leases for drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico comes with a social cost of up to $179.2 billion and risks jeopardizing climate commitments made in the recent UN climate deal.

That’s according to The Climate Change Costs of Offshore Oil Drilling, a new report released by Greenpeace USA and Oil Change International, which looks at the carbon emissions from consumption of the oil expected to be produced from those leases scheduled to take place from 2017 to 2022. Continue reading

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