13 December 2010 Preserving America’s Clean Energy Economy Makes Sense Posted by: Cat Lazaroff | Leave a comment | Share: Defenders’ president Rodger Schlickeisen has just posted his opinion about President Obama’s recent decision to block offshore oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic coast and in parts of the Gulf of Mexico. Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen This welcome decision reverses President Obama’s announcement earlier this year that would have significantly expanded offshore drilling. Now, drilling won’t be allowed off the Atlantic or Pacific coasts, or in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, for at least the next five years. (However, oil companies still hope to expand drilling in the Arctic’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, which Defenders will continue to vigorously oppose.) In light of this year’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that continues to blight that region’s coastal environment and economy, suspending new offshore drilling is the right move, according to Rodger Schlickeisen: If our society does not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them, at the cost of irreparably damaging America’s important economic sectors that depend on clean coastal waters. “We need to allow the facts and sound science to fully emerge from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history; apply the hard lessons learned in the Gulf of Mexico to our future ocean management policies; and let improved well-control measures and redundant blowout preventers and other long-overdue safety systems guide us on a reasonable and measured path forward. “If our society does not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them, at the cost of irreparably damaging America’s important economic sectors that depend on clean coastal waters. Now is clearly not the time to take an ill-advised gamble with the Atlantic coast, Florida’s Gulf Coast, our Arctic Ocean, nor with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.” You can read Rodger’s full post on National Journal’s Environment and Energy blog. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in It’s Time to Act for Right Whales Years after they agreed to expand critical habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales, we’re still waiting on NMFS to follow through. So we took to the courts to get this much-needed protection in place. How Should We Honor Earth Day? America has many worldwide firsts in conservation: we were the first nation to establish a national park, the first to create a national wildlife refuge, the first to approve a law protecting endangered species and the first to create a national day dedicated to conservation, Earth Day. But today, we are experiencing another period of crisis in America’s commitment to conservation. When did conservation become a polarizing political issue, when it has been, for the past century, a defining characteristic of American values and the American spirit? Ecological Insults and Injuries Revealed Four Years after Deepwater Horizon Four years after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, we’re beginning to see the full scope of how this ecological disaster is impacting our wildlife on land, air and sea.