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A Monumental Proposal
The Atlantic Coast is a beautiful and special place. This coast is considered one of the most biologically diverse in our nation, and perhaps the world. It is also the resting place of ships that speak to a pirate past. Fishermen both commercial and sport make a living off its abundant resources and families come in the summer for quality time together and to create lasting memories. Yet, it is in this idyllic setting that the oil and gas industry has set its sights on creating a massive, industrial off-shore oil and gas development site. You see, they do not want one or two wells; no they want the entire southeastern seaboard open to filthy and dangerous oil and gas development. Recently the Governor and other southern Governors have made clear their desire to “drill baby drill” this magical part of America.
Yet, go to any coastal community on the Atlantic seaboard and you will hear clearly that people want no part of such a dirty and prone to spill type of energy development. They also are not buying the endless commercials that the oil and gas industry airs on television that speak of so-called “new technology” and other such euphemisms that industry is trying to convince Americans with. No, people on this coast do not want any part of it!
But industry money can dictate politics. It is going to require a Bold and aggressive campaign to keep Big Oil out.
Organizing is at the heart of any campaign, with coastal communities supportive of protection for the coast and large urban communities across the state, we have the people and the political clout to demand permanent protection for this spectacular coast.
The answer to protecting Atlantic’s coast is the designation of a massive National Monument or Marine Reserve, which can be designated by the President by using the Antiquities Act, thus bypassing our stalled and ineffective congress.
Trying to get any legislation through congress has increasingly become difficult or impossible. Bold Visions Conservation has many years of experience working directly on the concept of National Monuments. From the hiring of staff, to managing the campaigns, our success in New Mexico was based on a very focused and strategic campaign. Such campaigns do not happen overnight, they require creating a very diverse and strong coalition to hold the vision together.
It was President George Bush that during his tenure creating three of the largest Marine Sanctuaries in the world, covering more than 195,000 square miles. They were created by the powers of the Antiquities Act, something Presidents have used since Theodore Roosevelt.
The Atlantic coast derives much of its wealth from tourism or attracting companies because of the “quality of life” North Carolina has to offer. The creation of a massive Marine Sanctuary would boost visitation to the region, creating jobs and helping some coastal communities, while helping to protect the very fish stocks that are essential to keeping the Atlantic thriving. More than anything, it would maintain the connection that so many families have to experiencing time and connection to the sea.
Watch our Videos!
"Protecting NC coast" shows North Carolina's close ties with the ocean
"I have made mistakes" bluntly illustrates reasons not to drill
Oil and gas has threatened and destroyed the wildness and beauty of landscapes worldwide. It remains a filthy form of energy that is a major cause of global climate change. In New Mexico we have faced oil and gas drilling since 1920. The results have claimed millions of acres of land that have been drilled, spilled on and paved, destroying habitat and fouling not only the air but water that is so important in our desert environment.
The oil and gas industry has also taken a large role in directing elected officials and various state agencies such as NM Game and Fish Department. The promises that we have heard repeatedly about safety, concern about the environment and public health have been erased by the reality that drilling by its very nature poisons the land and water and fouls the air.
Communities that are on the forefront of drilling see dramatic rises in childhood asthma rates and increases in cancer.
Industry for their part does all it can to keep hospital records sealed and continues to garner support through job creation. But jobs come at a particular high price. From exploding pipelines to injuries in the field this is not a safe undertaking. Drinking water has been compromised in communities as a result of fracking. Open spaces and wildlife have been trashed by roads, pipelines and poaching. Yet, the reach of industry threatens only more lands, wildlife and waters.
Common sense it appears is always trumped by power and money of an industry that is heading towards obsolescence. The cost to restore these lands and waters remains almost incalculable; spending time in these fields will reveal the real story of their so-called concern for the environment. It is a landscape void of life, the sounds are that of pump jacks not birds, the stench of gas permeates. In some rural communities people have compressor stations within feet of their front doors, creating noise and potential danger, twenty four hours a day.
AN AVERAGE* OF 8 MILLION GALLONS OF OIL ARE SPILLED EVERY YEAR IN AMERICA'S WATERS.
* 8 Million Gallon Average per EPA, BEFORE Deepwater Horizon spill. SINCE THE CHANCE OF A SPILL ANYWHERE DRILLING OCCURS IS 100%, HOW MUCH IS NORTH CAROLINA GOING TO GET? A FEW THOUSAND GALLONS, OR A GENEROUS 210 MILLION LIKE LOUISIANA GOT?
Recently in our state we began to fight back. Over the past five years with dedicated effort and organizing we have brought together a coalition of religious, business, conservation and sporting groups to fight off industry and demand more protections for our public lands. As a result two new National Monuments have been created by Presidential proclamation covering close to one million acres of land! Lands that will never see an oil well or drilling rig. Open space for wildlife and recreation, open space for the soul.