Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Did you know...?

I've been running into a lot of environmentally-friendly experiences lately and wanted to share with you all! It's amazing how many opportunities are out there and we are all so uninformed, or even worse, indifferent to all of the opportunities out there just waiting for us to find them and take action. I am proud to say that I am now a Lead Activist for the Greenpeace Student Network! I'm SO excited about this opportunity and I plan on becoming more involved to help out and so should you!

Here is what BP is planning to do now. This is truly frustrating and unbelievable. Take action and stop BP from drilling another hole in our earth! And help this poor turtle too! :-(


"Happening now!

While the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise is in the Gulf documenting the ecological destruction from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Leads Activists across the country are taking action to stop BP from moving forward with their next dangerous drilling project off of Alaska’s Arctic coast. 

It’s unbelievable. BP has actually built a man-made gravel island off Alaska’s north coast that is connected by a causeway to the shore. They’re planning to drill a well that extends two miles below the seabed and then six to eight miles sideways to get at the oil that lies below federal waters in the Beaufort Sea.  Nothing like it has ever been done before in the Arctic. And to make matters worse, the federal government has basically allowed BP to do its own environmental review of the project!

We need your help to stop it. 

We have to act fast if we want to stop this. BP’s already received most of the permits it needs to start drilling at Liberty in 2011. Right now the only thing standing in their way is approval from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar of their “application for a permit to drill.”
Secretary Salazar can stop BP’s Liberty drilling project by simply denying them that permit. Let’s make sure he does it. This is the first step toward a permanent moratorium on new drilling in all federal waters. It starts now and it starts with this dangerous project.
We know this is possible. In May of this year, activists just like you were responsible for pressuring the Administration and Secretary Salazar into passing a temporary moratorium on new offshore drilling projects. We did it by writing letters to Secretary Salazar. "

So how do you take action?

Write a letter to Ken Salazar! I know what you're thinking: a letter is not going to help or I can't make a difference. But you are wrong, my friend! You can make all the difference in the world. We have already collected over 3,000 letters and Congress is all ears! We can all do this people! Do we want another oil spill to happen? I don't think so! So write a letter...make a difference! If I could write 10 letters myself, I would do it! So do! Here are some tips:

3. Bullet points to help with writing the letters

Below you’ll find some key points along with some background for each about BP’s Liberty project to help you and the people you are talking to write your letters. You can focus on one point, combine a few together or touch on all of them. It’s totally up to you. Each letter should be unique and personal.
If possible, make sure the letters are handwritten. Handwritten letters are more human and carry more weight with decision-makers. All letters should begin with “Mr. Secretary.”

Letter Talking Points:

» BP’s Liberty project will push the limits of offshore oil drilling with technology that is unproven and untested in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean. BP pushed the limits of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico with the Deepwater Horizon, now BP wants to push the limits of drilling in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s north coast by drilling what would be the longest ultra-extended reach wells in the world. Extended reach drilling technology is unproven, untested and more prone to the types of gas kicks that triggered the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.

» BP’s Liberty project will drill for oil underneath the ocean, yet BP classified the project as “onshore,” effectively dodging the moratorium on offshore drilling that was put in place because of the company’s Gulf spill. To get at the oil, BP will drill two miles below the seabed and then six to eight miles sideways below federal waters, yet BP classifies Liberty as “onshore” because drilling will be initiated from a gravel island connected to shore by a causeway. The federal government has signed off on this faulty logic and exempted Liberty from the moratorium on new offshore drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea that was put in place by the Obama administration in late May because of BP’s Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf.

» BP itself estimates an eight percent chance of a large oil spill at Liberty.BP’s own documents estimate an eight percent chance of a large oil spill at Liberty, which should be taken with a heap of salt given how BP repeat- edly underestimated spill likelihood and spill size in the Gulf of Mexico.

» BP is completely unprepared to deal with an oil spill in the arctic waters off of Alaska’s north coast.
No oil company — including BP — can respond or remove spilled oil from arctic waters. In short, if a large oil spill happened at Liberty, BP simply would not have the capacity or technology to respond in what the company itself calls “some of the harshest weather on Earth.”

» The federal government allowed BP to do its own environmental review of the Liberty project.The federal government also allowed BP to do its own environmental review of the Liberty project. The language and conclu- sions of the federal government’s October 2007 environmental assessment of the project are virtually identical to BP’s environmental impact analysis of the project submitted to the federal government just six months earlier.

» BP already has a shoddy record in Alaska. The company is still on probation for a 2006 spill that was the largest in the history of Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay. The spill was caused by BP cutting corners to save money on mainte- nance, which in turn led to pipeline corrosion.

» BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico calls into question the company’s claims about safety and oil spill response. BP’s oil will be impacting the Gulf for years and decades to come, against this backdrop BP should not be allowed to drill off the coast of Alaska.

» Many distinctive Arctic species make their home near BP’s Liberty project. This includes polar bears, which are listed under the Endangered Species Act because global warming is causing their sea ice habitat to melt out from underneath them. A large oil spill in the Arctic could spell disaster for this species that is already on the edge, as well as other ice-dependent species such as whales, seals and walrus.

The Final Ask:

Each letter should end in the same way by asking Secretary Salazar to deny BP’s application to drill for the Liberty project. Here’s an example of what that could read like:
“I request that you deny BP’s application to drill for the Liberty drilling project. The Arctic waters off Alaska should be off limits to drilling as a first step toward a ban on all new offshore drilling on U.S. coasts. As head of the Interior Department, you have the responsibility and the authority to protect America’s coasts from BP’s next big oil spill.”

4. Where and how to mail the letters you collect
So you’ve written your letter and collected ten (or more!) letters from friends and family. Now it’s time to send them to Secretary Salazar. Simply grab as many envelopes as you have letters and address them in the following way:

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Department of the Interior 1849 C Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20240

You might wonder why we’re asking you to put each individual letter in a separate envelope. The answer is simple: we want to make sure that Secretary Salazar knows that each one of these letters came from different people and we want to increase the potential effect that your letters have on his decision. It’s worth the extra stamps. And don’t be afraid to ask the people who write the letters to give you a stamp! The $.44 is a good investment in the future of the Arctic.

5. How to report back and why it’s so important

After you’ve put your letters in the mail and sent them on their way to Secretary Salazar, let us know by taking a few minutes to fill out a short online report back form. Here’s the link:

I know it seems like a pain. But it seriously only takes a few minutes and if we don’t know how many letters have been sent in then we have no idea if what we’re doing is working or not. So set aside five minutes after you mail the letters (or before if you know how many you are sending) and let us know. It really makes a difference. You can always come back if you mail more.

Keep on keepin' on!

- Mayanne


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