In the long debate over management of the outer continental shelf (OCS), the oil industry and some policy makers have claimed that our tax base and coastal jobs rely on expanding oil and gas drilling to new places. However, one set of issues –- critical to healthy oceans -- that has largely been ignored in this debate is the potential economic losses that new offshore drilling creates for our existing coastal economies and the potential for damage to treasured coasts and marine resources.
Patterns of extreme weather are changing in the United States, and climate science predicts that further changes are in store. Extreme weather events lead to billions of dollars in economic damage and loss of life each year. Scientists project that global warming could affect the frequency, timing, location and severity of many types of extreme weather events in the decades to come.
In February 2010, the Obama administration announced that it would help finance two new nuclear reactors at the Vogtle nuclear power station in Georgia, offering an $8.33 billion loan guarantee to Georgia Power (a subsidiary of Southern Company) and two other companies invested in the project. President Obama claimed that the investment was necessary to create clean energy jobs, stimulate our economy to export homegrown technology instead of importing foreign oil, and secure the future of our planet and our civilization by fighting the growing threat of global warming.
America is the largest consumer of energy in the world, and the majority of this energy comes from dirty and dangerous sources like coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power. Our continued reliance on these fuels contributes to global warming, undermines our energy independence, and costs American families and businesses more and more money every year.
America’s dependence on oil threatens our economy and harms our environment. Roughly half of all the oil we use in the United States goes into the gas tanks of our cars and light trucks. The oil we use in our vehicles is also a major contributor to global warming.
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