A few of us from the 350.org San Francisco office just returned from a hearing with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. The topic at hand was off-shoreoil drilling along the California coast, and Secretary Salazar witnessed public comment on the issue of lifting a decades-long ban on offshore oil drilling.
With the issue of climate change looming over us all the time, it felt meaningful to be part of such a local effort to stop it. An oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969 helpedspark the modern enviornmental movement. But today, the offshore drilling ban reversal is in serious threat of becoming permanent. It goes without saying that drilling for more oil will dig us deeper into the climate crisis, harm ecosystems, and risk contaminating local waters. We at 350.org got a chance to speak up about the connection between local struggles like this and the challenges faced all over the world. Especially when it comes to the world’s oceans and its climate, we’re entirely connected. A hearing in San Francisco has impacts that will be felt in a place as far away as Cambodia. We felt grateful to bring a global perspective to today’s hearing, and hope that message gets out to other issues as well.