Bluestem Action Alert

August 10, 2008


Oppose Off-Shore Drilling!


Please call Senators Barak Obama and Dick Durbin and tell them to strongly oppose attempts to lift the ban on off-shore drilling.


Bill name: Peterson Amendment to lift moratorium on off-shore drilling

Our position: oppose

State or federal: Federal

Whom to call: Senators

Where to call: local office – Congress is in recess

Numbers:        Obama 312-886-3506;           Durbin: 312-353-0150


NOTE: There is no bill number because the amendment is attached to a bill with some things we do not oppose.




The Republican response to high gas prices has been to block sensible energy conservation policies and to lift the 23-year-old ban on drilling for oil off our coasts.  The sad truth is that the policy the Newt Gingrich has called “Drill here, drill now” is having an impact on public opinion.


We must call even our usually environmental Senators and tell them to oppose lifting the moratorium on off-shore drilling.


Thomas Friedman, writing in the New York Times on Aug.1, called the Republican plan to lower gas prices by lifting the ban on off-shore oil drilling “cynical” and “junk science” and said further:

“A McCain campaign ad says that gas prices are high right now because ‘some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America.’ That’s just plain dishonest: the U.S. government’s own Energy Information Administration says that removing restrictions on offshore drilling wouldn’t lead to any additional domestic oil production until 2017, and that even at its peak the extra production would have an “insignificant” impact on oil prices.

“Now for the bad news: sheer irresponsibility may be a winning political strategy.

“Mr. McCain’s claim that opponents of offshore drilling are responsible for high gas prices is ridiculous.... Yet Mr. McCain’s gambit seems nonetheless to be working: public support for ending restrictions on drilling has risen sharply, with roughly half of voters saying that increased offshore drilling would reduce gas prices within a year.”                                          Thomas Friedman, Aug. 1, 2008

In the last seven years, 70 million acres have been offered in the Alaskan Arctic for oil and gas drilling, and an additional 40 million acres in the Rockies. What has it gotten us? A doubling in gas prices, while oil companies bathe in record profits.  The price of oil is determined on a world market.  The small amount of oil available on our coasts will make profits for oil companies but not appreciably decrease the price of gasoline.

Oil companies claim is that off-shore drilling is completely safe today and causes no spills.  In fact, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita alone caused 150 oil spills, according to the NRDC.  


The main reason to Call Senators Obama and Durbin is to let them know that the public understands that the answer to high energy prices is raising fuel economy standards and that putting our beaches and marine wildlife at risk to feed our addiction to oil is bad policy. 


Thanks you for all you do!


Linda Sullivan

Julia Nephew

Bluestem Action Alert Chairs.