Kudos to Va. Congress members for protecting the environment
1/18/2019, 6 a.m.
When we drill, we spill. And when we spill off our shores, it can spell disaster for the whales, dolphins and coral that live in our oceans.
That’s why it was great to see Rep. A. Donald McEachin and Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia stand up for our coasts last week when they introduced the Defend Our Coast Act that will protect Virginia’s coastline by banning offshore drilling in the Mid-Atlantic.
In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that impacted coastlines from Florida to Texas, sea turtles and seabirds were covered in thick, brown oil and struggled just to move, breathe and fly. Smaller spills also have a lasting impact on marine ecosystems and the coastal communities that depend on them.
Not only is drilling dangerous for our ecosystem, it’s also increasingly unnecessary. Here in Virginia, we are working hard to build a cleaner, brighter future. That means powering our lives with energy from renewable sources, not dirty oil. As we move toward renewables and zero-emission transportation choices, why would we risk the health and beauty of our oceans for oil we don’t need?
Thanks to the work of our elected representatives such as Rep. McEachin and Rep. Luria, Virginia is sending a strong signal that drilling off our coast is unacceptable. Let’s hope officials in Washington will take note.
ALEXIA MELENDEZ MARTINEAU
The writer is a campaign organizer with Environment Virginia.