Opposed to offshore oil drilling

  • Thursday, April 3, 2014

I offer the following brief points for yours readers and our county leaders to consider.

1. We have known for fifty years or so that we needed to find replacement technologies for the burning of fossil fuels. Since the Nixon Administration – we have listened to our politicians speak of America moving to alternative fuels and diminishing our dependence on foreign oil – out of one side of their mouths. Out of the other side, they are thanking the lobbyists and Big Oil for their campaign contributions.

2. It is important to note the two main arguments that proponents of offshore Atlantic oil exploration continue to make: “we need to take advantage of our resources at home to reduce our dependency on foreign oil” – and – “the more we can pump at home, the lower the price will be at the pump”. Both of these statements are not the slightest bit true - because:

3. The oil industry is not concerned with saving you money at the pump. They are concerned with making the maximum profit off of every barrel of oil they can get their hands on until there is none left – while suppressing any new technology or alternative energy source until that occurs – and:

4. At a time when America is importing more foreign oil than ever (much of it in collusion with USA companies and their foreign investments) our country is exporting more oil and natural gas than at any time in history. Why? Because:

5. America pays far less at the pump than any country in the world except Venezuela and the Middle Eastern States. Oil produced here can be sold overseas at a greater profit – hence all the exports.

6. The oil industry experts, sent here to espouse the virtues of their industry in harmony with nature, chose their words very carefully – while some of their remarks were quite misleading and completely unfactual:

7. I know (and do business with) many people in the very area they referred to in Louisiana and all over the Gulf Coast. I am cognizant of the fact that the shrimp, oyster, crawfish, crab and commercial fishing industry were all devastated by the oil spill – and continue to be in a major way. None of these industries have recovered. Many areas are closed to harvest still – and the little bit that is being harvested is not meeting market demands. ALL of these seafood products are now at record high prices – mostly because of the oil spill.

8. Environmental catastrophes are ongoing as a result of the spill – and will continue for decades. Mutations in fish, lesions, interrupted reproductive cycles have all been documented – and just last week, the discovery that serious heart defects in Gulf tuna are being blamed on the oil spill.

9. Many folks in the seafood business have taken jobs related to the oil spill to feed their families as a result of point #7. The industry expert who touted the low unemployment rate should be asked to disclose how many people were taken off the unemployment rolls after maxing out their eligibility, how many left the area and state because they could not earn a living as a result of the spill, how many took payouts from BP and just gave up their livelihoods and are no longer listed as unemployed, how many Mexican and Vietnamese immigrants went back home or moved away because they could no longer earn a living?

10. The experts also mention that the Gulf of Mexico was considered to be a “dead sea” before the oil industry arrived on the scene. This is a bold faced lie. The Gulf was a thriving fishery for all of the above mentioned products before Big Oil arrived – and continued to be until the spill. Ask that expert how many commercial boats are working out of his port today!

In closing, I will say that our coastline is much different than Louisiana’s – with different wind patterns that are mostly onshore. We don’t have the mighty Mississippi to push the flow of water offshore. We have a unique economy very unlike that of Louisiana. Our beaches cannot have the threat of an oil spill on their agenda.

Many states to our north have already said “no” to harmful seismic testing required to search for oil and natural gas. The town of Carolina Beach (NC) has adopted a resolution to forbid this practice. We should as well. We should stand up to these people with a resolute voice:

“NO oil! No way! Not here! EVER!!!”

Rick Baumann

Murrells Inlet Seafood Company

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