thoughts on the Santa Barbara oil spill

sometimes bad and good feel really relative. but not now. not with this. this is bad. and it will always be bad. I firmly believe that we can develop and implement better forms of energy generation and energy storage. I do not believe that oil will always be number 1.

***below is a post from Surfrider Foundation after the spill***

sign the 3 petitions in the links below to stop NEW offshore oil drilling. New offshore drilling would pollute our oceans and cause major impacts to marine wildlife including whales, dolphins, and fish populations. It would also create the risk of a catastrophic oil spill. Additionally, for ‪#‎California‬, new offshore oil drilling will significantly impact our state’s $40 billion dollar coastal economy.

***i signed and sent those petitions. Below is part of the response I received and information I learned in the process***

New off shore drilling is still very much a point of discussion and possibility in California. Although the response I received from my Senator did not actually relate to California specifically, she did provide some interesting information about how new energy projects are created and enacted in America. I learned a lot that I did not know about future energy plans specifically related to Oil and Gas Leasing Programs. This is part of the response I received after sending a letter to Senator Diane Feinstein:

As you may know, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) oversees the leasing of submerged Outer Continental Shelf lands for oil and gas energy development.  Under the Outer Continental Shelf Land Act (43 U.S.C. 1344), BOEM is required to develop a new Oil and Gas Leasing Program every five years.  On January 27, 2015, BOEM announced the Draft Proposed Program for the new 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

The draft includes eight planning areas – three in the Gulf of Mexico, two in the Atlantic, and three in Alaska.  This represents nearly 80% of estimated undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources on the United States Outer Continental Shelf.  For the 2017-2022 program, the draft proposes 14 potential lease sales in those eight planning areas: 10 sales in the Gulf of Mexico, one in the Atlantic, and three off the coast of Alaska.

BOEM is now preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the 2017-2022 program.  If you have not done so already, I would encourage you to share your concerns directly with BOEM.  You can submit comments on BOEM’s website at http://boemoceaninfo.com/get-involved/comments.  A detailed diagram of BOEM’s regulatory process is also available on its website at:

http://boem.gov/BOEM-OCS-Oil-Gas-Leasing-Process

Basically, what Senator Diane Feinstein is saying is that new oil development and leasing is happening. If you want to do something about it, speaking to our elected Officials isn’t really the way to stop it. These decisions have been placed into a Bureau system seemingly beyond their voting power. The BOEM website is somewhat informative about the process of leasing. Unfortunately, if you miss the public comment window, you miss it for all of 2017-2022. The good news is that we have not missed it yet and according to BOEM,

Your feedback does make a difference. As a stakeholder, your interests are important and relevant to the oil and gas leasing process. We want to know how you are affected and what considerations to make when enacting policy and managing our energy resources. By sharing your feedback, you help us make informed decisions.

SO! It would seem that learning more about BOEM and their public comment process is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE to creating a clean energy future for the US.

Here is a flowchart that shows how the environmental review and new energy leasing process works:

NEPA = National Environmental Protection Agency

OCSLA = Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

 

flowchart_oil public

flowchart for the process of new oil leasing agreements and their required environmental review (including public comment window)

 

 

 

 

 

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