Coastal Governors Pledge To Protect Oceans From Offshore Drilling

A bipartisan group of seven coastal governors are reiterating concerns about offshore drilling as Congress actively considers proposals that would revoke a 27-year moratorium on the practice.

While considerable media attention has focused on Florida Governor Charlie Crist's reversal of his position on the issue, nearly every other coastal governor remains opposed.

"Coastal governors know that offshore drilling is bad news for the environment and for tourism," said Mike Daulton, Director of Conservation Policy for the National Audubon Society. "It makes no sense for states to put our important beaches, fisheries and coastal habitats and multi-billion dollar tourism economies at such risk for so little gain."

The statements from the coastal governors follow.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R): "California's coastline is an international treasure. I do not support lifting this moratorium on new drilling off our coast." US News and World Report

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire (D): "For 26 years, our coasts have been protected by that moratorium and I believe that it should remain in place in perpetuity. With soaring gas prices, there is no better time to end our dependence on oil. As a country, we should be pursuing clean energy sources and investing in alternative energy technologies." Seattle Post-Intelligencer

North Carolina Governor Mike Easley (D): "It's just too much squeeze for the juice when you're looking at the real estate market that's on the coast, recreational fishing, the tourism and other economic interests that would be adversely affected by some problem that could easily arise from off-shore drilling," MSNBC

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine (D): "Our $35 billion economy is driven by tourism and the use of the shore." Associated Press

Oregon Governor Theodore Kulongoski (D): Lifting the ban would be "a short-sighted response to a long-term issue of creating a sustainable and secure domestic energy economy." Associated Press

Maine Governor John E. Baldacci (D): "We need an energy policy that looks to the future for answers, not to the past," Democratic Gov. John Baldacci's spokesman, David Farmer, said in a statement. "We need to cut consumption and develop renewable, clean sources of energy." Morning Sentinel (Maine)

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R): Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said, "We would certainly have some hesitation just based upon tourism and the natural beauty along the coast. We certainly wouldn't want to do anything that would kill the goose that laid the golden egg." Greenville News
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