Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Additional Voices Against Offshore Oil Drilling

Given that economic benefits are frequently touted as a reason to increase offshore oil drilling, it is significant that Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has opposed a proposal to open Florida’s coastline to oil exploration, saying it would jeopardize the state’s public land and threaten the tourist industry.

And fishermen in many areas are concerned. On the West Coast, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Association has reaffirmed its 30-plus years of opposition to offshore drilling.

That's not all -- even the military is concerned that training exercises may be affected by oil operations off the Florida coast. This is also a concern in Virginia, where State Delegate Joe Bouchard, who is also a former Commanding Officer at the Norfolk Naval Station, has stated that the federally proposed lease area for drilling off Virginia presents a high risk as it is located within the U.S. Department of Defense’s VACAPES military training area.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some Sanity in Florida

After the Florida House of Representatives voted 70-43 to sell out their beaches to the promise of oil drilling revenues by allowing drilling within 3 miles of the shore, Senate leaders and Governor Charlie Crist called at least a tempoary halt to the madness.

"I'm not receptive to it," said Senate President Jeff Atwater.

Crist said that he was concerned about the "lateness of the hour'' and the "closeness to shore'' of the plan to give the governor and Cabinet authority to accept applications for oil and gas drilling between 3 and 10 miles off Florida's beaches.

"I think [Rep. Dean] Cannon is leading his party off the cliff," said Eric Draper, lobbyist for the Florida Audubon Society. "This is an idea brought in by Texas oil companies who are interested in the right to drill in Florida and doing it on the cheap." More

Fossil Fuels are Not the Answer

Thanks to Steve Greenberg of the Ventura County Reporter for sharing his cartoon. Click here to check out more of Steve's work.

Not the Answer in San Francisco

Sierra Club's Allison Chin (in a Not the Answer t-shirt) and lots of Surfrider Not the Answer signs at the San Francisco OCS Hearing:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oil Drilling: Pointless

Are you a PIMBY?

What's a PIMBY?

A PIMBY -is someone who says, Please In My Back Yard!

How many PIMBY's are in Southern CA?

We don't know, but there's a good chance your congressional representatives might be.

Let them know you don't want our coastlines sacrificed as part of a "grand bargain" - see below.

From the New Yorker:

Obama's White House is filled with former members of Congress and congressional staffers. They are legislative strategists and dealmakers, and these days they often use the phrase "grand bargain" when asked how they expect to achieve their ambitious agenda. The senior White House official told me that they were exploring an energy deal that would include a "serious" and "short-term" increase in domestic production-perhaps opening up for oil exploration places like the waters off the coast of California-that would appease the "Drill, baby, drill" crowd, while also adopting a cap-and-trade plan that could take effect one or two (or more) years after 2012, which is when Obama's current plan would start. "You need to have something like T. Boone Pickens and Al Gore holding hands on a broad compromise," the official said. Such a plan wouldn't look much like the one in Obama's budget proposal-more like a third cousin than like a sibling, let alone a twin-but, unlike his current plan, it could get through Congress.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

California Legislature Believes our Beaches are Worth Protecting

In contrast to Florida (see below), the CA State Assembly appropriately celebrated Earth Day when Assemblymember Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) and Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) led California's strong legislative opposition to expansion of off-shore oil drilling. The California State Assembly approved Nava's Assembly Joint Resolution 3.

"My colleagues in the Legislature sent a strong message on behalf of all Californians, that we do not want increased offshore oil and gas drilling and demand reinstatement of the federal moratorium," said Nava. "Not only is this an environmental issue, but is also an economic one. Almost a million jobs and billions of dollars are created and produced by coastal recreation, tourism and the fishing industry. Our coast must be protected for future generations."

"Drilling off California's coast is a bad idea," said Assemblymember Noreen Evans. "All the oil off our coast would supply our nation with enough gas for only 17 months and would have no effect on gas prices. But it would cost us far more in lost tourism and risk another oil spill. That's a price Californian's don't want to pay." Assembly Joint Resolution 3 by Assemblymember Pedro Nava and Assemblymember Noreen Evans requests that the Congress of the United States reinstate the federal offshore oil and gas leasing moratorium for the 2009 fiscal year and beyond. The measure also memorializes the Legislature's opposition to the proposed expansion of oil and gas drilling off the Pacific Coast and any federal energy policies and legislation that would weaken California's role in energy siting decisions.

Florida Not Clear on the Concept

For today on Earth Day, the Florida House of Representatives passed the Enviornmental Control Bill, HB 1219, which will lift the ban of off-shore drilling off the coast of Florida and allow Gov. Crist and his cabinet to grant leases to oil companies for gas and oil exploration, and allow the construction of oil rigs three miles off the coast of Florida. The Senate is currently working on their version of the same bill.

Hopefully the Florida Senate or at least Governor Crist will come to their senses and realize this is NOT THE ANSWER!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

San Francisco MMS Hearing Summary

Dressed as sea turtles, jellyfish and other marine life, environmentalists were among dozens of people to pack a public hearing Thursday to press Interior Secretary Ken Salazar not to open new areas of the West Coast to oil drilling.

The public forum, the last of four such meetings around the country with Salazar, also drew state and federal lawmakers concerned about the effects any expansion of offshore drilling could have on the region's economy and natural beauty.

Sen. Barbara Boxer drew cheers from the crowd as she emphatically told Salazar that California opposes such action.

"Our state is saying clearly to you today, no," she declared at the opening of the hearing at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay campus.

Read more at San Francisco Chronicle: White House pressed to stop offshore drilling

More stories...

Reuters: Californians say "baby, baby, no more drilling"

AlterNet: The Consequences of 'Drill, Baby Drill': More Than 90 Oil Spills a Day in the U.S.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Anti-oil drilling forces view Interior Secretary as ally

(Click here from from great Press Democrat photos)

San Jose Mercury News: As We See It: Don't drill off the coast

The idea of drilling for oil off our coast has been fought by local environmentalists for decades -- for good reason.

A catastrophic oil spill would cause untold damage to our pristine shoreline and irrevocably harm ocean life.

Fortunately, in 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed into law a moratorium on offshore drilling and set the largest boundaries for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which permanently protected a quarter of California's coast.

Now local groups involved in ocean protection are organizing to ensure protections stay in place. The ban on offshore drilling expired under the last Bush administration, which also proposed to allow drilling in formerly off-limits areas, including the California coast.

While that proposal would not allow drilling in the sanctuary, a spill outside the boundaries could still foul waters and shorelines and kill sea life.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has convened a public hearing starting at 8 a.m. today in San Francisco to discuss the government's five-year plan for oil development.

The California coastal part of the plan should be simple: Don't drill.

Los Angeles Times: Californians voice concerns to Obama administration over offshore drilling

KTVU Channel 2 - View Video

CNN Anderson Cooper’s Blog

KGO San Francisco local ABC

Outside the hearing, offshore drilling opponents held a rally dressed in costumes and listened to speakers representing environmental organizations. Inside, the hearing was dominated by elected officials -- most of them from California -- and all of them expressed the same point of view.

"Some other states may feel differently. Our state clearly is saying to you today 'no,'" said Democratic Senator Boxer of California.

KRON-TV, Channel 4, San Francisco, April 16

White House pressed to stop offshore drilling

SAN FRANCISCO - Environmentalists and California lawmakers are urging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar not to open new areas of the West Coast to oil drilling.

Protesters came out to today's public hearing in San Francisco dressed as sea turtles, jellyfish and other marine life.

Senator Barbara Boxer drew cheers from the crowd as she emphatically told Salazar that California opposes offshore drilling. The Democratic senator says the California coastline is a huge economic asset to the state "just as it is."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Transworld Business Magazine interviews Matt McClain

Transworld Business just published a brief interview with Surfrider Foundation's Director of Marketing & Communications, Matt McClain.

Never one to mince words, Matt dispells some of the myths surrounding the offshore drilling.

Click here to read the interview.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lets Not Go Back!

Huntington Beach during the era of coastal oil.

Huntington Beach today! Let's not go back!

From Shifting Baselines in the Surf. See the short here.

Join us at the pre-rally tonight at Sports Basement.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Me, Myself and Bob

A few excerpts from Surfing Magazine's Matt Walker who thinks you should attend the hearing on new offshore oil drilling being held in San Francisco this Thursday (4/16).

In the days before San Francisco’s public hearing on offshore energy, a note from North Carolina’s “don’t drill” delegation. All two of them.

That’s right: while every state from Virginia north sent at least one energy expert or elected politician, my home’s official opinion came down to two average shmoes. And when Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar finally asked if there was “Anyone -- ANYONE -- here from North Carolina?” Bob happened to be in the bathroom. Meaning — of more than 9 million potential voices —Salazar heard only one: mine.

We’re lucky; Georgia, South Carolina and Florida sent nobody at all. The point? You can’t count on someone else to speak your mind in these fights. So as we head toward the West Coast energy hearing in San Francisco on April 16, think long and hard on how much you can depend on your fellow surfers to show up. And, assuming they do, consider whether they will actually echo your personal views.

Read the whole story...

Monday, April 13, 2009

(No) Drill, Baby, Drill

Thomas Friedman's latest column entitled "(No) Drill, Baby, Drill" explains how Costa Rica banned offshore drilling and is using the concept of "payment for environmental services" to ensure that economic development and environmentalism work together. Today Costa Rica gets more than 95 percent of its energy from these renewables.

Sounds like we could learn a thing or two from Costa Rica. Read the article.

Interior Hearing Web Page

This informative page explains how to participate in the hearings and provides information on recent findings and the previous hearings

Why Aren't Oil Companies Drilling?

CBS Evening News: Oil Companies Are Only Exploring One-Third Of U.S. Land They Have Rights To

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2009 | by Armen Keteyian

(CBS) It was the battle hymn of the Republican National Convention last summer: "Drill baby, drill."

With gas prices soaring to $4 or more a gallon, the call for off-shore oil drilling in places previously off-limits hit a fever pitch, reports CBS News chief investigative reporter Armen Keteyian.

But despite making record profits, today, oil companies are drilling on less than one-third of the acreage in this country that they have the rights to.

John Felmi represents the oil industry.

"The leases aren't being used because there's probably no oil there," said Felmi, the chief economist with the American Petroleum Institute.

Read the rest...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mark Massara Invites You to the MMS Hearing in San Francisco 4/16

Mark Massara Invites You to MMS Hearing in San Francisco from Surfrider Foundation on Vimeo.

NTA on Down The Line radio program

Surfrider Foundation's Matt McClain will be dropping some knowledge bombs this morning on the Down The Line radio show (on San Diego's XTRA 1360).

Listen in live (or download the podcast later) by clicking here

Friday, April 10, 2009

Further adventures of the pelican, seal and shark...

After crashing into my office, Ms Pelican and Mr Seal and Mr Shark, took BART into the city to stage their own mini event at Justin Herman Plaza (across from the Ferry Building). Hard to keep track of this crew. Rumor is that they intend to recruit many other species to their cause before next Wednesday.

Spread the Word

Download this flyer, print them up and paste them around your community.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Resources for Activists

This page contains numerous links that provide the basics, talking points and a ton of background information that bust the myths of the "Shrill, Baby, Shrill" hype over oil drilling.

Wednesday 4/15 Pre-hearing rally info

Flyer for 4/16 San Francisco Hearing

Directions to Hearing (includes Public Transit)

MMS 5-year lease program 1-pager (with maps)

Hearing Basics & Talking Points from NTA coalition

Fact Sheets:

Impacts To Air, Water, Wildlife, Coastal Economies And Climate Defenders of Wildlife, July 2008

Protect out Coasts: Ban Oil Drilling in CA Environmental California, 2009

Offshore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) threatens our beaches, oceans, coastal communities, and marine life NRDC, July 2008

Our Coasts are Too Valuable for the Risks of Offshore Drilling Environment America, July 2008

Sierra Club Offshore Drilling “Cheat Sheet” Sierra Club 2008

Coastal Governors Remain Strongly Opposed to Lifting OCS Moratorium National Audobon Society, July 2008

OCS Drilling Has Insignificant Impact on Gas Prices Sierra Club July 2008

The Aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, By the Numbers National Audobon Society July 2008

The Truth about Oil Spills and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Sierra Club, July 2008, SC

Oil Spill Fact Sheets, Environment America, July 2008:
August 2005 - Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
June 2006 - Calcasieu River, LA
November 2007 – San Francisco Bay
February 2008 – Gulf of Mexico

A shark, a seal and a pelican walk into a bar.........

You ever have one of those days? You’re at your desk, when…BAM!,…a shark , a seal and a pelican all burst into your office. They’re quite agitated and jabbering in shark, seal and pelicanesse. After a few awkward moments, and with a few helpful graphics, they explain their concerns. They had four basic points. I thought you’d be interested, so I’m sharing them with you…

1. Offshore Oil Drilling Comes to San Francisco -Thursday, April 16th

Next Thursday (April 16th), Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will conduct an all-day hearing in San Francisco. He wants to hear public opinion on what President Obama should do about offshore drilling and energy development off California’s coast and the entire nation’s coastline. All the details you need are at (Hint – The URL is Not The Answer).

2. Ocean Critter and Public Comments Needed

If you want an opportunity to speak at the hearing you must contact the Interior department in advance at:

3. Rally at Noon

Apparently a few hundred ( maybe athousand?) of these guys and their human friends will hold a rally at noon on the 16th to urge: No Drilling - Safe, Clean Energy Now! You’re obviously invited. It’s at the Mission Bay Conference Center, 1675 Owens St., (just south of the AT&T baseball stadium). Maps, transit and info are all at

4. Banner and Sign Party – Wednesday Evening the 15th –

Seems that these guys (well, the pelican is female), and many of their costumed friends are hosting a Sign and Banner making party the night before from 6-9pm at The Sports Basement, 1590 Bryant St (easy parking). They expect press.

Bring your sign making materials (and critter costumes). For info contact Sarah Kagan at or Lara Kasa at

To volunteer on the day of the rally, contact and send your cell phone number to: Jackie Dragon at or Chad Nelsen at

By the way….the critters said to say Thanks, in advance…for your support.

How to get to the San Franciso MMS hearing

The MMS hearing is being held at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center Robertson Auditorium.

1675 Owens Street
San Francisco, CA 94158


View Larger Map

We strongly encourage the use of public transit - we are fighting against more oil drilling after all. The google map directions using the public transportation option are great.

Here are some options thanks to Vicky Hoover from the Sierra Club.


The closest and most convenient public transportation to the Robertson Auditorium at the UCSF Mission Bay campus is the San Francisco Muni System "T" Line, which runs underground down Market St. (connecting easily there to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system and then surfaces along the Embarcadero, running south to the Caltrain station at 4th and King Sts. (easy conection with Caltrain from the Peninsula and San Jose areas) and then down Third St. through Mission Bay and on to the south toward Brisbane--the last/southernmost stop, almost on city/county line is "Sunnydale".

The T line stop closest to the Robertson auditorium is the UCSF-Mission Bay station; across from South St. From there it is a walk of only a few minutes westward along "Eugene Friend Way"--a broad pedestrain/bike way, to get to the Auditorium.

Note that this is approaching from the east side of the Robertson Auditorium, NOT the west, or Owens St. side. The Owens St side is actually less pedestrian-friendly to approach. (the I-280 freeway is very near there.)


For people coming from the San Francisco airport on BART, or from anyone coming on BART from the East Bay, get off the BART train at one of the downtown San Francisco stations (Embarcadero from the East Bay, and from the airport either Civic Center, Powell St., Montgomery St. or Embarcadero. Then, without exiting the station, go up to the Concourse level from the BART platform level, buy a Muni ticket ($1.50 or .50 for seniors) then descend to the Muni level, look for the "T" line -- making sure to take it in the Inbound, NOT Outbound direction. Look for signs to Mission Bay, or Hunter's Point, or Sunnydale. But mainly, get an Inbound train.


From Caltrain, it is even easier. The "T' line stops at 4th and King, on 4th, just across King from the Caltrain station. (Careful though -- there is a totally different Muni stop even nearer the Caltrain station, on King, for the "N" line. Don't
go to that one--you need the one marked "T", and then be sure to get on the "southbound" train, not "downtown". Then it is a short ride, only two stops, to the UCSF-Mission Bay stop. (The first stop is called "Mission Rock."

Or, one can walk from the Caltrain station -- walk east down King to Third St., hang a right, and walk along Third to South St/Eugene Friend Way - a bit more than half a mile.


There is also the #10 Muni bus line, that runs from the financial district north of Market (Battery St.) goes south of Market and to 4th and Townsend - where one can walk a short block to King and transfer to the "T" line, OR you can walk from there OR stay on the #10 and it will take you pretty close to the site, as it circles south on Rhode Island Ave, and to 16th St. Get off on 16th, walk to Owens.

Alternatively , there is the #22 bus, coming from the Marina, the FDillmore and Upper Market St., that goes prety close, to 17th St and 18th Sts,. Closest to the site is probably 17th and Connecticut.

You can see all this routing yourself at

But truly: just Take the T train for Trouble-free Transit.

(there is a big car parking lot, a little way up Third, by the ball park.) But, especially since our message is NO OIL DRILLING, etc. the fewer cars the better.)

Note that these directions via the Muni "T" line do NOT lead to the Owens St side of the building--the "official" address. But that's ok, in fact it's good: the east entrance, fronting on "Bank of America Terrace" is closer to the stairway going up to the Robertson Auditorium, second level, and also to the elevators.

There are some bike racks out by Bank of America Terrace, but they are a strange kind I never used before, not the trusty "wave" ones. I struggled with it a bit, guess one has to get used to them.

One can see the tall tower directly on leaving the "T" , right from the UCSF-Mission Bay stop. I timed my walk from there to the Bank of America Terrace entrance -- 4 minutes, not trying to go specially fast.

No Oil Spilled During Katrina?

This is one of the favorite claims of the "Drill Baby Drill" crowd. Just one problem - it's not true! Want proof? How about an aerial photo and a Bush administration report.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meanwhile, In New Orleans

Here's a preliminary report on the Department of Interior hearing today in New Orleans from Jill Witkowski of our Central Gulf Coast Chapter:

"The auditorium was filled with approximately 90% oil and gas executives. All of the local representatives commented on behalf of the project. At the portion where Salazar opened it up for comments, he only heard from two or three environmentalists--the rest were oil and gas lobbyists. I have not had a chance to speak my piece on behalf of the Surfrider Foundation, but I plan to go back to the hearing after work today."

So, DOI heard from the oil and gas industry, but what about from the people?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Media from the NJ hearing

John Weber reported in that Secretary Salazar actively participated in the hearings, listened intently to public comments, engaged speakers and even asked questions. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to tell the Secretary of the Interior what your coast means to you!

Here's some coverage from Monday's hearing in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

From EXPN: Coastal Controversey: The Government, Offshore Energy and Your Surf Spots

Who's your hero?

We all have heroes — some are lifelong heroes like Occy, Bono, or Sean Penn (there's a road trip crew for ya.) Maybe your current hero is Wayne Ellington, or Parko, or Barack Obama.

Yesterday, I attended the Department of the Interior's Public Meeting on Offshore Energy Resources at the Atlantic City Convention Center and my new hero is a 12-year-old.

Read more....

Press of Atlantic City: Governor holds firm on opposition to offshore drilling

When it comes to exploring the Outer Continental Shelf, New Jersey continues to say no to the prospect of drilling for oil.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was in Atlantic City on Monday to hold the first of four national forums on potential energy resources, both alternative and conventional, derived from the Outer Continental Shelf, to determine what issues the Obama administration needs to focus on before developing a comprehensive five-year energy plan for the country.


From Feds keeping door opening for offshore drilling

The waters off New Jersey should be off limits to oil and gas drilling, and only wind and wave energy should be tapped, top state officials told U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at a public hearing in Atlantic City on Monday.

Salazar refused to rule out new drilling, however, until he completes four hearings around the country on developing the 1.7 billion acres of United States territory beneath the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Gulf of Mexico known as the Outer Continental Shelf.

"Whether we open other areas around the OCS is something that will be decided based on these hearings."


Wall Street Journal: Salazar Gets Earful on Drilling

A contentious public hearing Monday highlighted the Obama administration's challenge to craft an energy policy that emphasizes alternative fuels but also recognizes the dominance of traditional sources.

Opponents of offshore drilling dominated the hearing, convened by the White House to gauge public opinion on whether the government should expand oil and natural-gas production in federal waters.


American Public Media- Marketplace: Debate on offshore drilling rages on

The Department of the Interior is holding a public hearing today on offshore drilling. Hearings will focus on a controversial plan to open up the Outer Continental Shelf for more oil and gas exploration.


Attend the hearings!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Interior Hearing in NJ - focus moves away from oil and towards wind

Reporting from today's public hearing on the Interior MMS 5-year leasing program in Atlantic City, NJ, Surfing Magazine's Matt Walker describes NJ's stance against new drilling and shift in the conversation from new drilling to wind energy.

Read here.

Of course, as we describe in our Energy and the Ocean series in Making Waves, most alternative ocean energy (wind, wave, tidal) generates electricity used to power the grid whereas petroleum is used for transportation, so getting off oil will require a change in how we power transportation.

More on the NJ hearing soon.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

NJ Congressmen Show Bipartisan Unity Against New Drilling!

"We don't want oil rigs along the coast and we can't accept the risk of oil spills in the ocean tides or on our beaches," said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., who was there with Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J. and Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, both D-N.J.


Kudo's to these leaders for saying that new oil drilling is Not the Answer. Click below to thank them!

Representative Frank Pallone Jr.

Representative Frank LoBiondo

Senator Frank Lautenberg

Senator Robert Menendez