For the last 15 years we at the Center for a Sustainable Coast have been strongly opposed to offshore drilling - and have repeatedly said so on opinion pages from Georgia’s coast to Atlanta and beyond.
Likewise, we object to the recent approval of seismic testing in offshore areas along Georgia by the Trump administration. Not only will such testing irresponsibly harm marine life - as well documented - but all fossil-fuel related projects should be unconditionally opposed because they will worsen increasingly dangerous climate-change impacts.
Objections to offshore drilling must include well-reasoned justification supporting the urgent need to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to prevent catastrophic flooding, drought, and mass migrations that will be caused by unchecked climate change.
Damage to marine life done by seismic testing and offshore drilling - though very objectionable - will be far less destructive than permanent harm to both ocean and land-based species (including humans) brought by continued emission of GHGs.
Also, don’t be fooled by false claims justifying fossil-fuel projects on the basis of “U.S. energy independence.” Such assertions are complete fabrications, made obvious by the fact that America is now EXPORTING more fossil fuels than ever before. Using this deception, the fossil-fuel industry is recklessly profiting at ever-greater risk to the future of our environment, economy, and quality of life.
Oppose offshore drilling and seismic testing - without doubt - BUT also oppose other fossil-fuel projects such as pipelines, processing plants, and export facilities. All such fossil-fuel activities will only worsen the disastrous effects of an overheating climate.
However, opposing offshore activities while remaining silent about how they’re related to increasing climate threats will only assist in prolonging reckless emission of GHGs - aggravating future disasters, especially in coastal areas.
Another fabrication that must be defeated is the absurd obstructionist claim that reducing GHGs will harm the economy. Actually, the opposite is true - proven by hundreds of thousands of American jobs created by clean energy.
Falsehoods spread by fossil-fuel profiteers are glaringly contradicted by the fact that there are already over TEN TIMES more U.S. jobs in solar energy than in coal. With responsible reforms in energy policy and continuing market trends favoring solar panels and wind turbines, replacing fossil-fuel-based power sources with clean energy will bring billions in American business opportunity and millions of new jobs - while helping to prevent the worst dangers of climate disruption.
We advise fellow citizens to support the Off Fossil Fuels Act, now in Congress.
Likewise, city and county officials are encouraged to adopt resolutions opposing seismic testing and fossil-fuel projects because these activities jeopardize coastal Georgia's economy and quality of life.David Kyler, Director, Center for a Sustainable Coast Saint Simons Island, Georgia