Love Your Coast

Friday, June 4, 2010

Our Stance on Oil

We are not opposed to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico because it is crucial to our region's economy. It sustains families, puts meals on tables, and generates significant income for many people. However, we think its a dangerous thing that one company's negligence can single handedly destroy an entire region's ecosystem and way of life.

This is simply too much power.

We support legislation that gives Gulf Coast residents a share of oil revenues BEFORE 2017. As the federal moratorium on offshore drilling drains jobs from our economy, we also support legislation that would create jobs by implementing cleaner energy technologies through tax breaks and incentives.

We are not interested in getting sidetracked with partisan debates on energy politics; rather, we are deeply committed to preventing such catastrophes from happening here, or anywhere else, in the future. For this reason, we believe that energy companies should engage in SAFE drilling practices at depths that pose as little threat to marine and human life as possible.

We also believe that the true remedy to this problem lies in innovation and creativity.

The future of Louisiana should incorporate untapped natural gas reserves, harnessing the vast amount of sunshine into clean solar energy, and developing incentives for wind and alternative fuels. We support incentives for homeowners to implement green appliances, vehicles, materials, and energy. We support businesses who want to build hybrid battery and diesel engine factories in our state. This will create jobs by attracting businesses to the state and creating opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

In creating long-term goals of energy development, Louisiana will be positioned at the epicenter of energy technology. This kind of industry growth will provide jobs, create wealth, improve infrastructure, and help our lands become cleaner and safer. By focusing nearly exclusively on oil, the Gulf Coast states have missed out on opportunities to generate revenue from a booming energy industry.

The technology for clean energy already exists. So maybe while our coastline is recovering and healing, we should focus on more ways to expand our economy.

Because the parties responsible for this disaster have exploited our natural resources, we believe that they should receive justice. Fortunately, there are many paths to justice in the United States. Those responsible must pay for the damage they have caused: Our concern is that there simply isn't enough money to cover the damages to future generations. However, if we are smart and strategic, we can begin to plan for the future so that we can recover from this sooner rather than later.

We simply cannot allow ourselves to perish.

We also need solid contingency plans for hurricane season. Many have expressed concern about the dangers of life on the coast paired with the threats posed by nature's wrath. We would like to work with our state officials to make sure that nobody gets left behind, and so that we can minimize the harms should a storm wash ashore.

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