Greenpeace Executive Director John Passacantando sent out an appeal yesterday urging the public to take action to stop President Bush’s effort to overturn the longstanding ban on offshore oil drilling.

Bush’s move, quickly backed by Republican presidential candidate John McCain, is being assailed as basically a parting gift to Big Oil.

The New York Times slammed the Bush-McCain moves in its lead editorial today, titled “The Big Pander to Big Oil.” The Times points out that the oil companies already have access to 80 percent of offshore oil deposits, mostly in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaskan waters, and they’re not doing much of anything with that.

The Bush-McCain plan is “worse than a dumb idea,” says the Times. “It is cruelly misleading … based on dubious statistics … diverts the public from the tough decisions that need to be made about conservation.”

Greenpeace is calling for signatures on an to McCain, titled “Just Say NO to Offshore Drilling.”

Passacantando’s appeal says, “You’ve seen the headlines today — McCain, Bush, and Gingrich are organizing a push to drill for oil along our coastlines and lift a 27-year moratorium. They seem to be taking advantage of high gas prices to help their friends in big oil make even more money.”

He continues, “Opening up our coastline to drilling will take up to 10 years before the first drop of oil would reach your local gas stations and it would last for less than 10 years — yet the devastation it will cause is hardly worth the price.”

He goes on to point out that the seismic blasts involved pose a threat to whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, and the potential for major oil spills would threaten our beaches, fish, and marine mammals.

Finally, he notes that global warming is already a major threat to our world’s oceans, and drilling for more oil will only cause more greenhouse gas emissions.

“Instead of pushing for more drilling, we should be investing in renewable energy sources,” he concludes.

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Susan Webb
Susan Webb

Susan Webb is a retired co-editor of People's World. She has written on a range of topics both international - the Iraq war, World Social Forums in Brazil and India, the Israel-Palestinian conflict and controversy over the U.S. role in Okinawa - and domestic - including the meaning of socialism for Americans, attacks on Planned Parenthood, the U.S. as top weapons merchant, and more. Previously she taught English as a second language and did a variety of other jobs to pay the bills. She has lived in six states, and is all about motherhood, art, nature and apple pie.





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