EDITOR’S NOTE: We received the following post from Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš, the founder and director of Azul, and an original member of our group. We are sharing it here:
Last week, the Trump administration announced a plan to open up 98% of U.S. waters to offshore drilling. That includes most of California’s coastline, which has been closed to new oil development since the Reagan administration. With the stroke of a pen, Trump could wipe out decades of progress cleaning up and reclaiming our beloved beaches. He wants to sell out coastal communities for the benefit of Big Oil companies. But we won’t stand for it.
Starting today, you can tell Trump exactly what you think of his plan to put corporate profits above our health, safety, jobs, and way of life. Submit a comment here, listing all the reasons you want to see your favorite beach or bay off-limits to drilling, and safe from the threat of a devastating oil spill.
“The coast belongs to the people, it was made for you and me, not oil companies. Our government is duty bound to safeguard our coasts and oceans for the benefit of everybody, not fuel company stockholders,” said Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš, founder and Director of Azul.
No matter how Trump or Big Oil try to spin it, we know that oil drilling is a dirty and dangerous business. The Gulf of Mexico is still recovering from the 2010 BP oil blowout that dumped 4 million barrels of oil into the sea.
“While Louisiana makes plans to buyout over 59,000 residents living in its Coastal Plains due in part to rising sea levels an oil and gas extraction, Trump has made it a policy to flood the swamp and U.S. Coastal communities with more destructive Deepwater offshore drilling. Thanks, Trump!” said Bryan Parras, Gulf Coast Organizer with the Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign at Sierra Club.
In California, a 2015 pipeline rupture in Santa Barbara not only ruined the summer for local tourism and recreation businesses, whose backyard has suddenly turned into a toxic waste zone. Tt shut down beaches as far south as Los Angeles, where toxic tarballs began washing ashore weeks later.
“Here in the Central Coast, we’ve seen firsthand the impact of oil spills on our communities, not just devastating our natural resources, but also closing public beaches which serve as some of the only accessible sources of outdoor recreation for many low-income and immigrant families.” said Lucas Zucker, Policy and Communications Director at CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy) in Oxnard, CA.
Angela Mooney D’Arcy, Executive Director of the Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples, rightly points out that the coasts and ocean are integral components to the way of life of Native Nations: “The Pacific Ocean is a beloved relative to hundreds of Native Nations along the west coast and Indigenous Peoples throughout the Pacific. Indigenous Peoples turn to the ocean for spiritual, cultural, and physical sustenance. Sacred Places Institute stands with Indigenous Peoples around the world who have maintained respectful relationships with the ocean for thousands of years. We are deeply opposed to new offshore drilling in California and will work in solidarity with Native Nations, environmental justice communities, and others to protect the Pacific and coastal lands and waters worldwide.”
“The Ohlone/Costanoan/Esselen Nation is troubled by the proposal to open the Pacific to new oil leases for the first time in over 30 years. Our people have lived in right relationship with the Pacific since time immemorial and have a deep and abiding respect for the ocean. We will continue to speak on behalf of the ocean and California’s coast in honor of our Ancestors and our descendants. We strongly oppose any attempt to increase offshore drilling in California and remain committed to protecting our coastal lands and waters.” said Louise Miranda Ramirez, Chairwoman of the Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation
Trump’s offshore oil plan would put popular beaches, from La Jolla to Huntington Beach, and Malibu to Morro Bay in jeopardy. Imagine your favorite barbecue or tidepool spot slicked with oil. With our state heading for a 100% clean energy future, we don’t have to let oil companies colonize our shores.
This administration is once again putting the interests of wealthy companies above the needs of hardworking people. Half a million Californians’ jobs depend on a healthy ocean, from hotels and restaurants to tackle shops and gas stations. And it is ordinary Californians —especially Californians of color— who will suffer the most from the noise and pollution of new offshore drilling. Our coasts belong to the people. And it is time for the people to send a clear message to the Trump administration: we will not allow you to auction off our coastal waters!