Sunday, June 27, 2010

ASBURY PARK: Citizens Join Hands Against Offshore Drilling

Yesterday, Saturday June 26th, NJ residents joined together to create the largest global gathering against offshore drilling. Citizens met at the Asbury Park Boardwalk and joined hands along the shoreline as part of an international Hands Across the Sand day of action.

"Today we join in unity and solidarity with the community of the Gulf of Mexico to express outrage against the perils and horror caused by our addiction to oil and to resolve to clean up our act. Hands Across the Sand is an unprecedented global call to action. The power is within our hands: we must convince President Obama to rescind his expansion of oil drilling. We must also declare a personal war against oil—conserve energy, drive less, swear off of single-uses renewable plastics, and rally others to do the same," stated Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.

"This event has to be more than a one day event, joining hands on the beach to protect the environment. It has to be about each and every one of us going home to our lives and making a proactive change in our energy use and how we affect the environment. We are all at fault for the great destruction of the Gulf and we must be part of the solution," said Ed Johnson, Mayor of Asbury Park.

"The Gulf disaster is proof-positive that what happens in the Gulf can happen here except the destruction would be infinitely worse because the survival of our entire Atlantic coast is tied to the health of our coastal waters. Economics and environment go hand in hand, and the disaster would dwarf any minimal economic benefits gained by these short-sided wells. Today, thousands of Americans are offering a helping hand not only to our oceans, but to Americans long-term economic security," said Edison Wetlands Association Executive Director Robert Spiegel.

"Instead of just being mad as hell, we have to channel our energy to protect our oceans and our beaches," said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "We need to stop the drilling off our coasts and instead build a green energy economy."

The Hands Across the Sand events are aimed at steering America's energy policy away from its dependence on fossil fuels and towards clean energy. The goal is to convince leaders like President Obama to abandon offshore oil drilling and adopt policies that encourage clean energy instead.