Victory in the Atlantic!
Grassroots efforts have paid off for the Atlantic coast. The Obama Administration has reversed course on offshore drilling in that region.
Back in 2008, Congress lifted the ban on offshore drilling in the Atlantic, and just a short time later, the Obama Administration announced that they would open up that region to offshore drilling.
But, that decision sparked countless protests, numerous environmental actions, and more than a million public comments on drilling in that region.
Thankfully, last week the President responded to the people and removed plans for oil drilling from his five-year proposal on ocean energy development. That's what happens when Americans stand together and fight for what they believe in, and that's the benefit of having a President who actually listens to the American people.
In a call with reporters last week, Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Interior, said, “We certainly have heard from coastal communities, generally about their opposition.” And, local officials along the coast celebrated the announcement as well.
Frank Knapp, president of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, said, “Obviously, this is the right decision, and obviously it was a decision that arrived because of all the concern.”
Rather than threatening the local ocean-based economies, this decision will protect industries like tourism and fishing, which provide up to 25 percent of jobs in some coastal areas.
Perhaps equally important, this decision is proof that small, local, grassroots movements can truly have a profound effect on our entire nation. Although it may not always feel like it, We, The People really can shape the policy of our country by standing together and demanding that we be heard.
That's great news for the communities and animal life along the Atlantic coast, and it's great news for the brave men and women fighting for change all over our nation.