Petroleum Association Should Support Offshore Drilling Ban and Sustainable Energy

An Open Letter to Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President, Western States Petroleum Association, and Member, Marine Life Protection Act Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Forces

Dear Catherine Reheis-Boyd,

I’m writing in hopes that you will help change the course of American history by leading the petroleum industry to phase out offshore oil and gas drilling, and to invest massively in sustainable energy sources.

Today we have the technical ability to convert our energy system to sustainable sources, offering opportunity for endless profit to corporations which invest now in these sources. For example, solar thermal power plants, using mirrors in deserts to heat fluids and run turbine generators, could supply all of America’s energy needs forever with minimal environmental impact. Corporations investing now in solar thermal power plants may well dominate the energy supply in the twenty-first century and beyond.

If you continue in your push for more offshore oil and gas drilling off the West Coast, you risk leading the corporations you represent to the catastrophic fate of the British Petroleum Corporation, which may have nothing left to invest in anything after the tragic consequences of the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico have fully unfolded.

The petroleum industry now holds the fate of our nation in its hands. With your support, we surely can move this year to permanently ban offshore oil and gas drilling off the West Coast, by enacting the West Coast Ocean Protection Act of 2010, recently introduced in the U.S. Congress. If the petroleum industry becomes the “sustainable energy industry” by making a rational analysis of future profit potential and joining President Obama in a determined effort to transform the nation’s energy system to rely on sustainable sources, our society can launch a massive, job-creating transition to sustainable energy while we still have the “petroleum subsidy” we need to power this transition.

The financial and political power of the petroleum industry is so great that without your support we are unlikely to be able to ban offshore oil and gas drilling, nor to make a graceful transition to sustainable energy, without a long, expensive, suicidal struggle pitting ourselves against ourselves.

Please share these thoughts with your colleagues in the petroleum industry. The whole nation will love you if you lead the transition to sustainable energy.

–John Lewallen, Mendocino Sea Vegetable Company

North coast summer open houses

Who: Interested members of the public are invited

What: North Coast Summer Public Open Houses, where members of the public are invited to review and provide feedback (information can be found on the MLPA website on draft marine protected area proposals for the MLPA North Coast Study Region (from Alder Creek near Point Arena to the California/Oregon border; these draft marine protected area proposals are from Round 2 of a three-round planning process. The public is invited to attend the open houses to visit informational stations, review and comment on draft marine protected area proposals, provide input on particular areas of interest, and ask questions of staff and regional stakeholders.

When: July 6-8, 2010 in five north coast locations
Drop by anytime! Please note specific times associated with each location.

Tuesday, July 6
5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
C.V. Starr Community Center
300 South Lincoln Street
Fort Bragg, CA

Wednesday, July 7
8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
The Octagon/Beginnings
5 Cemetery Road
Briceland, CA

5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center
921 Waterfront Drive, Room 211
Eureka, CA

Thursday, July 8
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Redwood National and State Parks
South Operations Center
121200 Hwy. 101
Orick, CA

5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Elk Valley Rancheria Community Center
2332 Howland Hill Road
Crescent City, CA

RSVP: To ensure adequate refreshments and seating, please RSVP to Delbra Gibbs (916.424.8897 or dga_mlpa@sbcglobal.net.

What if I can’t attend one of the public open houses in person? If you are not able to attend, you may also provide your feedback on Round 2 draft MPA proposals by visiting www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/mpaproposals_nc.asp. Here, you can complete an online form expressing your comments, which will be shared with the NCRSG and BRTF. Additionally, print copies of the feedback forms are available at local libraries and government offices, which can be mailed or faxed to the MLPA Initiative office.

Your comments will be most helpful if received no later than July 14, 2010 so the information can be distributed to NCRSG and BRTF members prior to the start of Round 3.

What is the Marine Life Protection Act? The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) requires the state to re-examine and redesign California’s system of marine protected areas. Draft marine protected area proposals have been developed by a regional stakeholder group with input from external arrays developed by community groups.