The agribusiness lobby is well known as one of the most powerful in Washington, D.C., and many states. Less well known is the fact that big agribusiness interests are among the biggest roadblocks to cleaner water for the American people.
The Atlantic states are uniquely positioned to forge a clean, independent energy future. The region’s current dependence on fossil fuels has far-reaching and devastating impacts —– affecting residents’ health, draining their pocketbooks, causing air and water pollution, and warming the planet. Many Atlantic states have already become leaders in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that create jobs, lower energy costs, cut pollution, and reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels. These efforts will greatly benefit people and wildlife for generations to come.
America’s dependence on oil puts our environment, economy, and national security at risk. Whether it is the scars left by the oil spill disaster in the Gulf, the $1 billion that American families and businesses send overseas every day for oil, or the nearly 2 billion metric tons of global warming pollution that pollute our air each year, these problems demand that we break our dependence on oil.
Pollution from agribusiness is responsible for some of America’s most intractable water quality problems – including the “dead zones” in the Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie, and the pollution of countless streams and lakes with nutrients, bacteria, sediment and pesticides.
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.
Environment America Research & Policy Center
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