Offshore Oil: Not the Answer

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Surfing Open

By Chuck Lehneis

I had hauled butt up the 5. My Nixon watch informed me that I was about 15 minutes late, and that the tide was going up. Big thanks to the Lodown model. No thanks to Balour Drive, the street I was supposed to have taken a left at. Unfortunately for me the street sign never reflected my headlights and I drove by. I came to the end of Santa Fe in Encinitas and flipped a female dog. Five minutes later I’m walking towards the community center, and moments after that I’m the late guy coming into the meeting.

Not that many people made it out tonight, 40 max. The speakers are, however, motivated by the conviction of their undertakings. One statistic after the other, which would otherwise come off as mundane and bland, are delivered with sincerity. And it’s not that hippie, save the world sincerity that comes off as lofty and unrealistically idealistic. Theirs is legitimate.

New oil rigs loom just over our horizons and we can stop it. This is just legislation, ideas to sell underwater oilfields to companies who already own more than they drill. The companies would have us believe that the technology is safer now. The fact is that no oil rig in the world is impervious to a bad storm. Hurricane Katrina damaged 124 platforms and spilled 741,400 gallons of oil. As one person in the group pointed out: Even if we could remove oil without spilling a drop; we cannot exclude the enumerable detrimental effects that burning the refined dino droppings does to us and those around us.

But who cares right? Only 40-something people showed up, which indicates what it means to be a member of this species. Statistics and facts of what has happened elsewhere show what’s bound to happen here with this kind of support.

Then it hits me: These people here are our leaders. They’re the first ones on the bandwagon, warming up our seats. The point I made earlier, the one about; Even if we could remove oil without spilling a drop. This point was made by Bruce Bekkar of Del Mar. He’s part of the Energy Committee of Del Mar. I look around more and really see who’s at this meeting. People who are just as serious and sincere about stopping AB2719 as the speakers are. These are organizers and go-getters.

Know what else? The solutions are easy. Drop a line to your assembly member, congressperson, or senator; better yet, drop by and say, “Hi.” Make a phone call. Tweet for crying out loud. Even my mom has Facebook. Tell people that you do not want to see a new oil rig at your local beach. Let them know that this isn’t a coastal issue it’s a Californian one.

So, sound the first alarm. A ban on offshore drilling expired in 2008 and AB2719 seeks to capitalize on it. We could be seeing new rigs within three miles of our coastline soon. We know now that we can no longer say, “out of sight and out of mind.” It’s time to get up and head this one off at the pass.

Stop reading.

Start acting.

Oh, and by the way, who’s your representative?