Offshore Drilling Protections A Conservation Priority

Published: Nov 13, 2008
Washington, DC - 
"The Bush administration has done a lot of damage to our nation's environmental protections over the past eight years. Nowhere is that more evident than the Bush administration's drilling policies, which have been slanted dramatically toward the oil industry. Millions of acres have been leased for drilling in sensitive sagebrush habitats of the Intermountain West, the wetlands of the Western Arctic and the Polar Bear Seas, and the administration made drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a top domestic policy priority.

"Last summer, record high gasoline prices and a political hysteria drummed up by the oil industry led the President to go a step even further, withdrawing the executive ban on offshore drilling, and threatening to veto any bill that reinstated congressional protections for our coasts. As a result, we now have a policy for our coasts that is unacceptable – a policy of zero protection for our beaches and coastal economies.

"However, an historic election has changed the political terrain drastically.

"The election defeated candidates who focused on a "drill everywhere" energy policy and the inauguration will sweep two oil men from the White House. The election was a mandate for change. The change that's called for is change that actually reduces prices for consumers, reduces dependence on oil, and protects the environment.

"In the coming months, we expect President-elect Obama will offer a comprehensive energy plan and Congressional leaders will take up a comprehensive energy bill. In the constellation of policies we can put in place, it's clear expanded offshore drilling is the least likely to reduce costs for consumers at the gas pump and the least likely to reduce our dependence on oil. We will urge these leaders to act accordingly by putting together an aggressive clean energy package that not only reduces costs for consumers and reduces America's reliance on oil, but also protects our environment and reinstates coastal protections."

MORE INFORMATION

These remarks were made by Mr. Daulton during a teleconference with reporters and representatives of wildlife conservation organizations. To hear audio of this event and access other written statements, visit http://web1.audubon.org/news/pressRoom.php.

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The National Audubon Society saves birds and their habitats throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.

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