Friends of CC National Seashore Oppose Oil, Gas Leasing Proposal

Comments cite threats to commercial, environmental interests...

From the Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore...

Comments to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management relating to the Draft Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program

Comments submitted by Patricia Canavan, President, Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore

Residents of Cape Cod formed the Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore over thirty years ago. We take our mission seriously- to preserve and protect the Seashore and to enhance the experience of visitors.  Our comments today are those of the Friends, not the National Park Service, which is responsible for management of Seashore.

Friends is here today to object to oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean as described in the Draft Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. 

Because the natural world knows no boundaries, our opposition to oil and gas exploration extends beyond our Cape Cod focus. We urge no drilling anywhere in the Atlantic.

We urge you to consider:

  • threats to our commercial interests, especially fishing and tourism.  Over 4 million visitors come to the Seashore every year, adding over $164 million to the Cape economy. These visitors and the people who live here enjoy our beaches from dawn, drawn to beautiful sunrises over the Atlantic, until after nightfall, where they often enjoy campfires, stories, singing, and star gazing.
  •  threats from possible adverse effects that will affect the health and safety of people who live and work in our waterfront communities as well as those who work on the rigs and other equipment.
  • threats to our environment, affecting not only people, but also the birds, fish, and other wild life, that live, feed, and travel through our waters and shorelines.  Of course, the vision that immediately comes to mind is that of oil-soaked ducks.  Less visible but just as horrible is the decimation of the last of our endangered right whales or Kemp’s ridley turtles, the most endangered of all sea turtles.
  • Human error, hubris, and the pushing of technological limits have led to disasters that not only kill those working on the rigs but also can also adversely affect the local economies for years.

As we know from the Deepwater Horizon disaster and closer to home, the Bouchard oil spill in Buzzards Bay, the risks are real and potentially catastrophic.  Communities such as ours bear the brunt of these risks- to endangered species, local economies, and our very way of life.  There are safer ways to produce energy. 


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