Dave Rauschkolb was recently featured on the weather channel and interviewed on NBC Nightly News. He was also featured in a CNN article which you can read here.
As many of you know, President Obama recently reversed the offshore drilling ban and announced a policy that could put oil and natural gas platforms in various coastal waters, including the Gulf Coast. How does that effect you? Well, if you love lying on the beaches of Panama City Beach, this new policy could have a major impact on you. Some are cheering this new policy, others are angered. But one local restaurant owner and organizer of the widely publicized anti-drilling rally “Hands Across The Sand” has a unique perspective and shared his thoughts with PCBDaily.
“The threat from Florida’s Legislators is now more than ever a threat considering President Obama’s lifting of the ban on drilling 125 miles out. The Legislator’s are, at this minute, considering lifting Florida’s ban on oil drilling 3 to 10 miles off our shores; this ban is separate from the offshore ban our President lifted. It is more important now than ever to let our Legislators know how strongly we feel against this drilling legislation. If the bill passes we will have countless oil rigs within sight of our beaches and a risk of spills and pollution from every rig, pipeline, tanker and crew boat. For our Legislators it is as simple a choice as this: a vote for oil or a vote for Florida?
Florida is on the brink of decisions that could forever endanger our clean waters our clean beaches and our valuable tourism based economy.” Mr. Rauschkolb said in a press release. “Proposals to lift Florida’s ban on drilling in both the near shore and off shore put Florida’s pristine coastline, waters, military mission and tourism in peril.
Sooner or later, it is clear some members of the state Senate and House of Representatives are determined to allow offshore drilling regardless of the study by The Century Commission debunking the claims of vast oil and gas reserves off Florida. Regardless of the growing list of Military officials saying it will absolutely interfere with operations. Regardless of over 50 counties, cities, chambers of commerce, and other local agencies that have passed resolutions against oil drilling in Florida’s waters. Regardless of the thousands of Floridians on over 80 beaches statewide who joined hands in Hands Across the Sand on February 13, the largest anti-drilling protest in the history of Florida.”
See The Video From Hands Across the Sand:
Mr. Rauschkolb went on to say,
“The oil industry is a dirty business, period. All one needs to do is cruise the coastline from Gulf Shores Alabama to the border of Mexico to see how the oil and gas industry conducts it’s business in our western Gulf of Mexico. And the mess is not only confined to the water. It’s no secret there are parts of Texas and Louisiana that are industrial wastelands. There are nearly 4000 oil rigs off the coasts of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama; of those 4000, 1000 are rusting, useless hulks. Only a fraction of the 100,000 oil and gas leases held are in use, yet the industry want’s more? Listen up Oil and Gas industry: clean up the existing cesspool you created west of Florida’s border and then you might be qualified to tout your “new, cleaner, greener” ways.
Then, there’s the Century Commission Drilling Report from the Collins Center for Public Policy, which concluded that all the oil in Florida’s waters would power America for only one week. Based on these findings this oil drilling initiative should be dropped now, right? Nope, not a chance. Our leaders are choosing to ignore this fact. It is clear some of those Legislators flush with oil Lobby contributions are determined to push this through no matter what facts play out or what Floridians think.
After all these voices against oil drilling, one begins to think our leaders are just not listening. Senator’s and House Members and Governor Crist? Listen well; oil is on the lips of Floridians and they don’t like the taste of it. Listen well; Floridians will never forget who sold out our beautiful treasured coastline and waterways. No, we will never forget. All it will take is one major spill and those who vote for oil will never be able to wash it from their hands.”
A vote for oil will signal the slow, eventual degradation of our shorelines and waterways. A vote for oil will open the floodgates for perhaps thousands of rigs just off our coastline. A vote for oil will certainly erode America’s perception of Florida beaches forever.
No Senators, House Members and Governor Crist, we will never forget your vote for oil and I promise, those who vote for oil instead of Florida vote in peril of their political future in Florida. That’s a promise from this generation of Floridians. It is as simple a question as this: A vote for Oil or a vote for Florida? We are collectively holding our breath. For Florida’s sake, choose Florida.”
Mr. Rauschkolb, a resident of the area for 33 years, does not believe the announcement by President Obama will be the end of the fight. In fact, Mr Rauschkolb is working with a Virginia Beach environmentalists to have a similar Hands Across The Sand rally in June.