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Heavy-weather political winds in Washington rage anti-ocean bill

The Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act (“ASTRO”) is astronomically bad in many respects:

  1. Revenue from offshore drilling is redirected to coerce reluctant governments and certain coastal states (VA, NC, SC, GA, and Alaska) to accept the risks of drilling accidents and routine pollution off their coasts. The closer the rig to your place the more money promised.
  2. Open Alaska’s permanently-protected Bristol Bay to offshore oil and gas leasing threatening the sustainably harvested and richest Sockeye Salmon fishing grounds on the planet and then closing one of Alaska’s most important employment sectors – fishing.
  3. Eliminate regional planning and give the Secretary of Interior broad authority to ignore the adopted Five-Year OCS Leasing Program and instead to lease drilling anywhere at his sole discretion without consideration of the environmental, social and fiscal safeguards in that law.
  4. Ban the creation of National Marine Monuments by any future President, requiring instead an act of Congress.
  5. Rescind the critical “Arctic Rule,” enacted to help protect the biological integrity of the Arctic Ocean if and when offshore drilling happens.
  6. Undo the lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon oil spill by likely recombining the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and streamlining the combined agency.

You may watch the discussion and testimonies by clicking here to go the Outer Continental Shelf Bill, a.k.a. ASTRO.

Join with us in writing to Washington. Please add your comments, insights and heartfelt thoughts to our letter below.  Why should your representative oppose this bad bill? You need not be comprehensive. One item, articulated well, is more memorable and quotable.

 

Join the Deep Sea Canyon Rangers and Seamount Guardians, click here.

40 responses on “Heavy-weather political winds in Washington rage anti-ocean bill

    1. Gayle A'Harrah

      We’re very quickly ruining every ecosystem that is needed for life on our planet!! Save our oceans and the creatures existing in the oceans!!!!!

  1. Rebecca Canright

    I am a college student who cares deeply about safeguarding our nation’s natural legacy for future generations. I ask you to please, oppose the Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore (“ASTRO”) Act. If enacted, this dreadful bill would:
    -Ban the creation of National Marine Monuments by any future President, requiring instead an act of Congress.
    -Rescind the critical “Arctic Rule,” enacted to help protect the biological integrity of the Arctic Ocean if and when offshore drilling happens.
    -Undo the lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon oil spill by likely recombining the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and streamlining the combined agency.

    Again, these are only a few reasons why I hope you will vote no on this act. Thank you!

    1. Rob Moir, Ph.D. Post author

      Rebecca, Thank you for commenting. Would you say a bit more why one or more of these three travesties concern you? How would it affect you, your family and friends? Legislators are elected to serve individuals and groups. Put yourself into it, make it personal. Pols remember the personal and specific hardships. Likely your specific concerns are shared by others, in particular constituents.

  2. Clare Hooson

    The bill is an extreme approach to the management of our offshore resources, eliminates or modifies common-sense management tools, and puts at risk our natural environment, coastal communities and economies.

    For clean water, healthy oceans and shores, please urge all members of the House Natural Resources Committee to oppose ASTRO.

  3. Linda McClendon

    The Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act (“ASTRO”) is astronomically bad. I oppose every aspect of this bill and direct you to do the same. Reject ASTRO.

  4. Beth Darlington

    For clean water, healthy oceans and shores, please urge all members of the House Natural Resources Committee to oppose ASTRO as well.

  5. Linda May

    This earth is running out of time. Ignorance is killing it. Wake up before it is too late and stop letting greed fog the truth. P- L -E -A -S -E!

  6. Scot

    This bill would completely destroy the affected states coast lines and leave waters unlivable for the vast sea life and creatures that call this environment their home.

    It would be a complete failure of our as stewards of these invaluable environments for a dying industry when more renewable and cleaner options have not been developed but developed to the point to where they are now on par price wise to increase and expand their future.

    We know the corporations buying their way into this bill will and cannot be trusted or counted on to control any spills or “accidents” that WILL take place in these waters.

  7. Maura Riley

    I do not want off shore drilling!! We need to protect our natural resources. Please oppose this awful bill!!
    Thank You
    Maura Riley

  8. Judith Mitchell

    Your invitation to submit a comment regarding this ASTRO initiative suggests that I express what I do not like about it. I do not like anything whatsoever about it. There is not much more to say other than my listing all the results which such egregious disregard for the Oceans would bring to our entire environment. That has been done already. I wish only to say unequivocally that I am furious that some witless, profiteers even crafted it in the first place.

  9. Gigi Middlebrook

    Thia disgusting administration has done NOTHING to support our planet or it’s resources. This is a horrible policy and needs to not be killed.

  10. shawn e johnson

    I am a citizen in opposition to ASTRO. As with other environmental loosening of regulations, this bill is extremely dangerous to the LONG TERM health of humanity and detrimental to all life on Earth.

    This bill invites more oil spills and pollution to our waters and coasts.

    And I ask another long term question, at whose cost? Who will pay for clean up, for fish restoration, for paying for the healthcare costs associated with pollution?

    And morally, we must protect National Marine Monuments with the understanding that a healthy ocean supplies food, health, and biodiversity to all.

    Thank you for considering your grandchildren, for a leaving a legacy of life and health, not simply lining your own pocket.

  11. Fay Payton

    There is nothing in this bill that is remotely environmentally, ethically, morally or fiscally responsible. It is the government allowing access to state’s waters for drilling, pollution, and destruction by Big Oil companies. Then essentially ‘blaming the victim’ by making each state pay for the clean up when there is a spill. The bribe money will be pittance compared to the destruction of our ecosystems which will be destroyed. It transfers all responsibility to the states for the companies’ destruction. The companies make a fortune, each state loses an ecosystem that cannot be replaced.

    This is an unconscionable abuse of power.

  12. Victor Carmichael

    Only an anti-science pack of shortsighted fools could assemble so many horrendously bad ideas into one piece of legislation. Raping and pillaging our oceanic resources for what? What in heavens name is wrong with these people? What kind of collective delusional mental disorder has somehow spawned in their heads like some sci-fi alien. Or has Trump and the GOP all simply drank the same poisoned lemonade? Not a day goes by that more negation of what was accomplished by the previous Administration is unveiled.

    I can remember a time when many Republicans were actually real conservatives in the full sense of the word and knew that preserving, managing and CONSERVING the environment was wise and prudent – a no brainer (not some kind of liberal plot against their beloved “free market”). That is now gone. Now to be a conservative is to be mean spirited in every direction especially toward the environment. It especially means letting the mindless machinery of industrialized resource extraction run full throttle chewing up everything in sight, all to prod the economy through yet another boom/bust business cycle. Yet this ASTRO really takes the cake. What a vile a piece of crap.

  13. Mary Hillary

    As always, I am devastated to learn that greed reigns paramount with this administration. There is no sense of responsibility for our environment. One aspect of what we do has ramifications on all other parts of the earth. Our latest catastrophe are the fires in California after the huge damage done by the 3 hurricanes before them. So disheartening and to think that we pay their salaries and their bloated benefits.

  14. Mark Glasser

    Our oceans are most important, the fulcrum our environmental structure. We are in the process of decimating it and increasing our chance of environmental disaster. As long as we leg financial concerns/greed determine how we deal with the destruction of our oceans, the road to complete destruction will be paved with the gold that destroys us.

  15. Elke Hoppenbrouwers

    The Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act (“ASTRO”) is astronomically bad in so many respects. It reflects the creed of the oil and gas drilling companies and big fisheries. Nobody seems to be thinking of the destruction of the environment and the marine life this will bring about. Nor is anyone thinking of the pain and health problems it will bring to people. This government seems to be intend to ruin any life on our planet, both in the water and on land.

  16. P. E. Scott

    BY SIGNING THE ASTRO BILL, YOU ARE TELLING THE REST OF THE WORLD AS WELL AS GOD, THAT YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR ANY-THING THAT DOES NOT PUT MONEY IN YOUR OWN PERSONAL POCKET!!!!!

  17. karen krause

    The ASTRO Act should be called he ASS-Tro Act. Everything about it is asinine. Do these republicans not realize that they are damning THEIR children (not to mention ours) to a world resembling Mordor with despicable acts like this? Or they simply don’t care and are just interested in the almighty $$? How many gold toilets do you need? And they call themselves Christians??? How is this in line with anything that Jesus taught?

  18. Thomas Filip

    I have no points to add and agree with all who have already spoken here. To put it bluntly, this bill is driven by political greed and stinks from the head down.

  19. Sheldon Rosenblum

    Our oceans are not designed to be profit centers. They provide food for millions across the globe-please do not destroy our ecosystems

  20. William Manners

    To everyone,

    We as a nation need to lead the world in the use of green energy instead of perpetuating the use of fossil fuels! There is no need to burn the world we live in to heat our homes or transport ourselves or products to market. There are plentiful alternatives that preserve our planet and produce the energy needed to continue our way of life.

    Not only would a policy that promotes Green Energy preserve our way of life it would create industries and jobs that are desperately needed for the growing population of the world and ease the economic crisis many countries are now experiencing!

    Thank you,
    William Manners

  21. Lynn Wilbur

    Don Young, Your pig-headed meanness is written all over this “legislation”, and I swear by God that you will lose your seat over this.

  22. elyette marla weinstein

    Bristol Bay is a national treasure that should remain unsullied by corporate interests that seek to destroy it and it inhabitants in order to make a profit.

    Can you say “Deep Water Horizon”?

    When will our species ever learn?

  23. Dennis Young

    Those three are worse than idiots, they are clearly criminals for wanting to destroy everything and bring disaster to us all for the sake of money. We need to sue the pants off all of them for what they are shamelessly doing to our children and the planet.

  24. Lisa Kenion

    Drilling in theses areas is foolish and dangerous. The United States needs to move away from using fossil fuels as a matter of national and planetary security. The natural resources this drilling would jeapardize belong to the people, not the greedy folks temporarily in charge of our government.

  25. Margaret G

    The Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act (“ASTRO”) is nothing less than an attempt to gain control over protected areas for the purpose of exploiting them for drilling. Another example of government officials allying themselves with corporate America with no thought or concern for the destruction it will wreak on the environment.

    This “act” will open Alaska’s permanently-protected Bristol Bay to offshore oil and gas leasing threatening the sustainably harvested and richest Sockeye Salmon fishing grounds on the planet and then closing one of Alaska’s most important employment sectors – fishing. For this reason alone, it should not be enacted.

    It’s pathetic that ordinary citizens of this country must remain constantly vigilant in their efforts to protect the environment from the greed and corruption that is so pervasive.

  26. Juanita N Baker

    Our oceans are our life blood.
    Many favorite fish like Swordfish are filled with Mercury and we no longer can safely eat them. We are being served stranger and stranger sea creatures and numbers are dwindling, oceans are filling with plastic, and humanity will be in danger. We need to protect our oceans, not further pollute (through drilling, fracking, etc.) or harm wildlife (by sonar exploration that kills large sea animals).

  27. Marnie Bottesch

    Of all the horrible bills of this greedy, anti-environment administration, this one takes the cake. How could one bill be so completely destructive? Each part seeks to destroy one part of this one and only world in which we live. Think about your children. Think about what each and every item in this bill will destroy and what that will mean for the future of this planet. Like it or not, we are all in this together, and we and our progeny and the planet will live or die by the actions we take today. Kill this bill. It is monstrous.

  28. Edna Litten

    The Accessing Strategic Regions Offshore Act (ASTRO) is harmful in many ways and should not be passed. I am particularly horrified at the section that opens Bristol Bay in Alaska to offshore oil and gas drilling. Bristol Bay is home of a highly successful fishery, the largest Sockeye Salmon fishery in the world. These wild fish have been sustainably fished for many years and this fishery can continue to provide wholesome food for and good jobs for Americans in the future if the environment the fish depend on is not fouled by pollution.

    One oil spill in Bristol Bay could wipe out this valuable fishery and the many jobs that depend on it. Even the process of exploration and drilling for gas and oil could cause significant disruption to the fishery. It would be heartbreakingly shortsighted to put this valuable, sustainable resource at risk of irreparable harm In exchange for a few years of fossil fuel production, particularly at a time when our nation has no shortage of oil or gas.

    Please consider the long term effects of this bill and vote against its passage.

  29. Linda Byrne

    This is nothing but a anti-ocean, anti-people, anti-caring for the environment bill. Please do all in your power to keep ASTRO from becoming reality. We must stand against those in power who have only their own money interests at heart and not the American people.

  30. Deanne O'Donnell

    This soulless administration needs to be upended immediately. They are destroying our communities, our rights, our wild life and wild places, and our planet, they will kill us all for nothing but the love of money, and we are allowing them to do it. IT MUST STOP NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!

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