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Very Urgent, Comments On Offshore Drilling Proposal .

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  • Environmental Alert
    VERY URGENT, DEADLINE FEB. 1, 2001 COMMENTS ON OFFSHORE DRILLING PROPOSAL BIG OIL IS MAKING A BIG PUSH TO BRING NEW OFFSHORE DRILLING TO AMERICA S MOST
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2001
         VERY URGENT,  DEADLINE  FEB. 1, 2001

       COMMENTS ON OFFSHORE DRILLING PROPOSAL

          BIG OIL IS MAKING A BIG PUSH TO BRING
      NEW OFFSHORE DRILLING TO AMERICA'S MOST
      TREASURED COASTLINE.

      GALE NORTON, NEW  U.S. DEPT. OF INTERIOR WANTS
      TO OPEN AS MANY AS FIVE NEW OIL DRILLING
      PLATFORMS  ON THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA COAST.
      ONE SPILL NEAR BIG SUR COULD WIPE OUT THE
      ENTIRE CALIFORNIA SEA OTTER POPULATION !

       
          The Sample letter is enclosed below :
       
          Please send your comments to the following two sites:
        
      1:      MMS5-year.document@...  (@...)
       
      2:      MMS5-year.eis@...   (@... )
       
       
      Or mail to address :
      (need to include your name and home address)
       
          5-Year Program Manager,
          Minerals Management Service (MS-4400)
          Room   2324,
          381  Elden  Street,
           Herndon,  Virginia    20170
       
       
      For further information on the issue , please contact :
         Ralph Ainger, 5-year Program Manager, at
         tel: 703-787-1215
       
       
      SAMPLE LETTER : (copied from Environmental Defense fund below).
       
       
      RE:  COMMENTS ON PREPARATION OF THE 5-YEAR
               PROGRAM FOR 2002--2007.
       
      Dear 5-Year Program Manager, ,
       
            I am writing to comment on your agency's preparation
      of the nationwide Five-Year Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing
      Program, and also on the planned Environmental Impact
      Statement and "Scoping" process for new drilling offshore
      Central California.

      The Department of Interior must reconsider these dangerous
      proposals in light of the important contributions to
      our local economies made by coastal-dependent tourism,
      commercial fishing, and shoreline recreation.
       I therefore encourage the Interior Department to fully
      respect the bipartisan congressional offshore drilling
      moratorium, and to abide by the presidential drilling
      deferrals previously issued by Presidents George Bush,
      Sr.  and Bill Clinton, both of whom concluded that
      available scientific data does not support a decision
      to allow new drilling in the moratorium areas.

      I also ask that you consider that additional offshore
      drilling in sensitive Alaskan waters will result in
      unwarranted environmental risks, due to recent documented
      failures of oil spill cleanup equipment where sea ice
      is present.  Offshore drilling in Alaska threatens
      important fisheries and can also be expected to increase
      oil spills in many coastal areas in the Lower-48 states
      as we experience additional "Exxon-Valdez" types of
      tanker accidents.

      Offshore drilling brings with it toxic air and water
      pollution, undesirable industrialization of sensitive
      shoreline habitats, and public safety and wildlife
      damage risks.  Until there is an adequate oil spill
      cleanup and containment technology which can effectively
      respond to accidents, sensitive coastal waters should
      not be opened to new drilling in your proposed Leasing
      Program.
       
      Your Department's plans for new drilling in already-leased
      areas along the Central California coastline are now
      subject to legal challenge by the State of California
      and the conservation community.  Any new drilling activities
      in this region would pose an unacceptable oil spill
      threat to the survival of the California Sea Otter.
      In addition, the Florida Panhandle and North Carolina's
      Outer Banks should not be subject to drilling activities
      on previous leases or subjected to future offshore
      lease sales.  Risky proposals for massive new floating
      oil storage vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, which would
      increase spill risks there, should be scrapped.
       
      Thank you for your attention to these concerns, and
      please enter this letter into the legal record for
      comments called for in Federal Register Notices 00-31629
      and 00-29921, as formal comments on the Five-Year Leasing
      Program, and on Scoping and Preparation of an Environmental
      Impact Statement for new drilling offshore Central
      California. 
       
         I look forward to your agency's comprehensive
      written response to each of the issues I have raised,
      as required by law.
       
         Thanks very much.
       
      Sincerely Yours,
      (your name
       address).
       
       
      =========================================
      ---- Original Message from -----
      From: <TakeAction@...
                             (@... )
      Sent: Monday, January 22, 2001 12:59 PM


       Urgent Alert from Environmental Defense

       Big Oil is now making a big push to bring new offshore
       drilling to some of America's most treasured coastline.

       The oil industry wants to lift the moratorium on new
       offshore oil leases, which for almost 20 years has
       protected the U.S East Coast, the West Coast, parts
       of Florida, and Alaska's fishery-rich Bristol Bay.
       Unless renewed by Congress, the coastal drilling moratorium
       could end on October 1, 2001, opening up the floodgates
       on offshore oil drilling.

       Also, the U.S. Department of Interior wants to open
       as many as five new oil drilling platforms on the Central
       California coast.  A single oil spill in this region
       could pollute beaches up and down the West Coast.
       One spill near Big Sur could wipe out the entire California
       Sea Otter population.

       The majestic Florida Panhandle is also under assault
       by plans for new offshore drilling rigs.  North Carolina's
       pristine Outer Banks, where fights over drilling have
       gone on for decades, is not yet safe from the oil industry.
       And in the Gulf of Mexico, even more drilling is being
       proposed, along with a new push to introduce risky
       floating oil storage vessels.

       In Alaska's fragile Arctic waters, where its impossible
       to clean up spilled oil trapped under the sea ice,
       wildlife-rich coastal habitats are likely to be targeted
       by most of Interior's new drilling plan.

       However, this does not just affect people who live
       in California, North Carolina, Florida or Alaska.
       America's coastline belongs to all Americans, even
       if you live in Illinois, Colorado, or Vermont.

       The Bush Administration's nominee for Secretary of
       Interior, Gale Norton, was a protege of former Interior
       Secretary James Watt.  Interior is taking public comments
       on a new Five-Year Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program,
       which will tell the oil industry where it can prepare
       for new coastal drilling.

       Take action and send a personalized email message to
       the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service
       (MMS), letting them know what you think of this new
       oil-drilling scheme.  Remind them of the risks drilling
       rigs pose to life in our oceans and to your favorite
       beaches.

       Comments on this offshore drilling proposal are due
       February 1, 2001.  Your email will go to three separate
       email addresses at MMS.

       For more information, visit
      http://www.mms.gov/ooc/press/2000/press1212.htm


       Richard Charter
       Marine Conservation Advocate
      ------------------------------------------------

      SAMPLE LETTER :

       -------YOU MAY EDIT THE LETTER BELOW---------

       I am writing to comment on your agency's preparation
       of the nationwide Five-Year Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing
       Program, and also on the planned Environmental Impact
       Statement and "Scoping" process for new drilling offshore
       Central California.

       The Department of Interior must reconsider these dangerous
       proposals in light of the important contributions to
       our local economies made by coastal-dependent tourism,
       commercial fishing, and shoreline recreation.

       I therefore encourage the Interior Department to fully
       respect the bipartisan congressional offshore drilling
       moratorium, and to abide by the presidential drilling
       deferrals previously issued by Presidents George Bush,
       Sr.  and Bill Clinton, both of whom concluded that
       available scientific data does not support a decision
       to allow new drilling in the moratorium areas.

       I also ask that you consider that additional offshore
       drilling in sensitive Alaskan waters will result in
       unwarranted environmental risks, due to recent documented
       failures of oil spill cleanup equipment where sea ice
       is present.  Offshore drilling in Alaska threatens
       important fisheries and can also be expected to increase
       oil spills in many coastal areas in the Lower-48 states
       as we experience additional "Exxon-Valdez" types of
       tanker accidents.

       Offshore drilling brings with it toxic air and water
       pollution, undesirable industrialization of sensitive
       shoreline habitats, and public safety and wildlife
       damage risks.  Until there is an adequate oil spill
       cleanup and containment technology which can effectively
       respond to accidents, sensitive coastal waters should
       not be opened to new drilling in your proposed Leasing
       Program.

       Your Department's plans for new drilling in already-leased
       areas along the Central California coastline are now
       subject to legal challenge by the State of California
       and the conservation community.  Any new drilling activities
       in this region would pose an unacceptable oil spill
       threat to the survival of the California Sea Otter.
       In addition, the Florida Panhandle and North Carolina's
       Outer Banks should not be subject to drilling activities
       on previous leases or subjected to future offshore
       lease sales.  Risky proposals for massive new floating
       oil storage vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, which would
       increase spill risks there, should be scrapped.

       Thank you for your attention to these concerns, and
       please enter this letter into the legal record for
       comments called for in Federal Register Notices 00-31629
       and 00-29921, as formal comments on the Five-Year Leasing
       Program, and on Scoping and Preparation of an Environmental
       Impact Statement for new drilling offshore Central
       California.  I look forward to your agency's comprehensive
       written response to each of the issues I have raised,
       as required by law.

       -------END OF LETTER-------------------------

       ***********************************************
       
       
       
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