On April 28th, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to expand offshore oil drilling in U.S. waters. The order directs the Department of the Interior to develop a new five-year oil and gas leasing program to consider new areas for offshore drilling. The order also blocks the creation of new national marine sanctuaries and orders a review of all existing sanctuaries and marine monuments designated or expanded in the past ten years.
There are serious environmental impacts associated with each stage of offshore drilling, including marine mammal harm from seismic surveys, polluted water from oil processing, and potential for oil spills that can damage entire ecosystems.
America needs to conserve energy, protect our natural resources and look for innovative ways to build a sustainable energy portfolio. Offshore oil drilling is not the answer.
Please join our campaign to stop new offshore drilling off U.S. coastlines. See below to learn how you can take action.
Dear Members & Friends of Surfrider,
The U.S. Senate is on the verge of approving Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, someone who has openly and repeatedly tried to undermine the agency’s abilities to enforce environmental regulations and public health safeguards. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times in an effort to block federal air and water pollution regulations. Based on his record, Pruitt’s confirmation would severely weaken the agency’s effectiveness in protecting the environment and regulating polluters.
But Americans didn’t vote for dirty water and more pollution. Make your voice heard and send an email to your Senators asking them to Vote No for the nomination of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the EPA.
Let the Senate know that clean air and clean water are important to you and your family and the EPA needs to be empowered to continue to meet its mission of protecting the environment and public health.
Could California’s parks be saved by raising car registration fees by $15?
The Legislature’s key budget committee recommended that action Monday to avoid having to close as many as 220 parks statewide, including every park in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
Now the political fight begins.
This was posted on the Press Democrat’s site early this morning. For the complete article, click here.
Thank you for writing to me about funding for our state parks system. Your input is important to me during these challenging times.
California’s natural beauty is renowned throughout the world, and I have made it my priority to protect our environment so future generations of Californians can continue to experience and enjoy what we have all come to love. Our state parks provide a fantastic introduction to the California experience and help bring our residents and visitors closer to our landscapes.
Unfortunately, the state cannot continue to bear the costs of supporting every program. Believe me when I say that these cuts have been the hardest decisions of my career as Governor, but we are in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Our revenues for the coming year are at least 27 percent below where they were projected to be just two short years ago. We now face a shortfall that has grown to $24.3 billion, and the people of California have made their voice clear: they want the state to live within its means and solve its problems through spending cuts and not tax increases.
To help manage our budget shortfall, I have proposed eliminating General Fund support for the Department of Parks and Recreation. I understand that these cuts will impact not only the lives of our park employees but the millions of park visitors who visit these national treasurers every year. In spite of these General Fund cuts, though, I will work to keep as many parks open as possible with funding from user fees. It may require raising entry and camping fees, expanding partnerships with local government and non-profit groups, and seeking additional creative ways to support our system in the future.
As I work with my partners in the Legislature to find solutions to these problems, know I will keep your thoughts in mind. Working together, I believe we can weather this storm and start the slow but steady march back toward prosperity.
After sending out an email via Surfrider’s action network, this was the response I (and I’m sure many others) received from the Governor. So let’s take into account for a second a couple of things mentioned in his letter.
Like how about the economy? Yes the nation is in a recession and the State of California is a few heartbeats away from financial flat-lining, but like the double-edged sword it is, the recession has meant folks have been staying closer to home when they vacation. Our state parks have reaped the benefits because of it. In my opinion, it’s an absurd notion to shut down something that pays for itself.
The governor says he understands that “these cuts will impact not only the lives of our park employees but the millions of park visitors who visit these national treasurers (sir, it would be “treasures”) every year.” He seems to have failed to take into account the impact these closures will have on local communities, who, especially on the north coast, rely on tourist dollars to keep their economies fueled.
As far as the General Fund goes, click here to learn more.
For more information, check out the California State Parks Foundation.
It’s no secret that California is barely keeping its head above water in these tough economic times. Now there is a new proposal that would seek to eliminate all general fund money from the California state park system, resulting in the closure of up to 220 state parks (beaches and historic sites) over the next two years. In Mendocino County, there are 16 parks that have made the list.
The Legislature’s Budget Conference Committee will meet on Tuesday, June 2 to consider this new proposal. If you cherish your state parks and believe they are an asset to our community, please take action now.
With the Bush Administration, the Mendocino coast fell under the crosshairs of a renewed bid for offshore oil drilling. Now Barack Obama would like to tap into the north coast’s raw wind and wave energy. There is an article about it in Sunday’s Press Democrat.
For those with high speed internet, there will be a live webcast of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s final public meeting on the future of offshore energy development beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 16.
Navy weapons testing update
By FRANK HARTZELL Of The Mendocino Beacon
Updated: 04/02/2009 08:03:37 AM PDT
Northern California can expect about 20 annual hours of Navy weapons training in the ocean, virtually all of it 12 miles or more offshore, under a controversial new plan for weapons training in the ocean.
That’s about the same amount of training that has been going on in recent years off the Golden State, said U.S Navy spokesman John Mosher, who, with the help of others in Washington, D.C., provided responses to questions about the U.S. Navy Northwest Training Range Complex Draft Environmental Impact Statement posed by the newspaper.
The EIS documents impacts on the ocean of sonar, undersea weapons testing, and the use of submarines, ships, boats, missiles and aircraft.
The amount of training in the ocean would more than double under the Navy’s preferred alternative, the response states. But that entire increase will be focused on the complex of naval bases in Washington’s Puget Sound, with no effort to increase testing off Northern California.
Navy officials clarified that the southern boundary of the Navy Northwest Training Range Complex is the Humboldt-Mendocino County line, meaning there will be none off the Mendocino Coast. That fact is stated in terms familiar to those who read nautical maps, not in layman’s terms.
Click here for the rest of the article.
Navy briefs board, public on training range
By K.C. MEADOWS – The Daily Journal
Updated: 04/01/2009 08:23:45 AM PDT
The U.S. Navy came to Ukiah Tuesday to talk about its training operations in the northwest Pacific Ocean and was met with a skeptical crowd of about 60 people who clearly did not believe the Navy when it said it cares about the environment.
Click here for the rest of the article.
Due to continued public interest in the Northwest Training Range Complex’s draft environmental impact statement/overseas environmental impact statement (DEIS/OEIS), the U.S. Navy is extending the public comment period to April 13th.
This DEIS/OEIS examines the potential environmental effects of the Navy’s proposal for future range management operations and activities. The Northwest Training Range Complex is actually a series of individual training areas in the Pacific Northwest; extending up to 250 nautical miles off the coast of Washington, Oregon and northern California.
Public comments are a fundamental part of the EIS/OEIS development and key in helping the Navy make informed decisions. For more information on this project, and several ways to provide public comment by the newly extended deadline, visit: www.NWTRangeComplexEIS.com
According to the Press Democrat, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will attend a public meeting on April 16th at the University of California at San Francisco’s Mission Bay Conference Center, “as part of his effort to forge a new policy for offshore oil and gas development, including the California coast.”