Why do we care? Why is it important? Why do we fight?

It defines who we are. What we stand for. What future we want to pass onto our children.

Twenty some years ago, we thought we had won – won the battle against further expansion of off shore drilling – won the battle against the forces that would rape and pillage our natural resources, befoul our pristine waters.

But as so many things change, so many remain the same.

“Never waste a good crisis.”

It is a mantra heard currently in relation to the financial chaos by the Obama Administration, but, though unvoiced, was a guiding principle of the last eight years, whether 9/11 or $4.50 per gallon gas.

In that vein, the Bush Administration decided to bring forward a new five year plan – two years early – that will open up immense new tracks of ocean to oil and natural gas exploration and production.

That process, now begun, will play out over the next year. There will be time for public comments; there will be time to protest, to let our representatives and elected officials know what we think, what we – the people – want. And while the coastal areas proposed to be opened to exploration encompass the entire United States, this blog will focus on the Point Arena Basin, stretching off the northern California coast from Point Arena in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north.

I will admit, I have a personal interest in whether there is drilling off our Pacific coast. I do not want my view marred by oil rigs, my walks on the beach cautioned by balls of oil; the horizon scarred by the disasters that will almost certainly occur. And while I am willing to give newly elected President Obama the benefit of the doubt in his desire to implement a new energy policy that focuses as much on wind and solar as oil and coal, the gains for America of a few extra months of supply versus further destruction of our unspoiled coastal environment is unacceptable.

As the days go forward and this blog develops into what I hope becomes a important source of information on this critical issue, there will be missteps and misfires – this is my first blog – so I beg your patience and understanding, I will leave you with a couple of quotes my research has turned up about the last threat to Humboldt and Mendocino counties – Lease Sale 91.

“The last proposed lease sale in 1987, thwarted by the moratorium, would have opened 6.5 million acres* off the North Coast. Off Mendocino and Humboldt counties, the tracts for sale lay from 3 to 27 miles offshore, and some of the 24 planned platforms, some of them 300 feet tall and each with dozens of wells, would have been visible from land.”

*The current proposal is more than six times larger – 44 million acres.

“The Interior Department estimates that the area proposed for Lease Sale 91 could contain as much as 790 million barrels of oil, equaling a two-month supply for the United States, and between 820 billion and 1.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas*. It says there is a 50-50 chance of finding the petroleum.”

*This estimate is considered by experts to be extremely conservative, seeing how the technology of recovery has advanced in the 30 years since the last survey was done, and could easily total three or four times as much.

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2 Responses to “Why do we care? Why is it important? Why do we fight?”

  1. Dan Zaimmerman aka Wildman Says:

    Glad to find this site. Im an environmental investigator, have worked with EPIC, CATs etc. Im doing a report / brief concerning the potential oil and gas lease sales off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Its not about the oil, its about the industry and governments desire to get at the methane hydrate beds. Obama’s election, Salazars appointment are part of the script. And the OCS moratorium was never in place as hydrate exploration has been ongoing on both coasts ever since 1981. Check out the Methane Hydrate Recovery and Development Act of 2000, or EPAct 2005. Before 2000 they had no legal standing for breaking the moratorium. Since MHR&DA was enacted they have some standing because they changed the definition of methane hydrates to be a marine resource other than oil and gas. I kid you not.
    Though the technology for hydrate extraction is still in its early stages, with only a few actual field tests being conducted in Canada and Japan, full production is to start in 2016.
    This year sometime they are going to claim that theyve figured out a way to sequester CO2 in the hydrate beds, and as a bonus methane is released and captured. Its the ultimate sweet deal for them, to look like theyre doing the best thing for the environment. Only trouble is, a) they wont be able to do full scale sequestration for many many years if ever and are only using that as an excuse and b) the potential impacts from this action are unbelievably staggering. If youre interested in the full story, drop me an email.

  2. Dan Zimmerman aka Wildman Says:

    That should be Zimmerman, not Zaimmerman. Wheres spell chek when you need it.

    Anyway, wanted to let you know about some other things to check out concerning hydrates, like the seismic testing and drilling programs that have been active off the Pacific OCS, especially the Eel River Basin, under the guise of oceanfloor and subfloor research……STRATAFORM thru the Navy, the Ocean Drilling Program thru NSF, DOE_NETL website on hydrates, Texas A and Ms hydrate website. AND MOST IMPORTANT, THE HYDRATE GUN HYPOTHESIS, or clathrate gun hypothesis.
    Bottom line is, weve been set up and, unless people wake up to whats in store, are future is already cooked and ready to be served to us.

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