Conserving and protecting our ocean plays a key role in both combating climate change and protecting our coastal communities. Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has put the health of our ocean, wildlife, climate, and Texans at risk. As President Biden plans to release a new Five Year Plan that establishes if and where oil and gas drilling can take place off our shores, we cannot accept or afford a plan that offers any new leases for drilling if we want to safeguard our present and our future.
After witnessing all of the destruction caused by the notorious 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I became an environmental activist at the age of 7. Since then, we continue to see spill after spill severely impacting public health and local fishing and tourism industries. Today, I work with local organizations and youth activists to ensure an end to offshore drilling.
Toxic pollution from coastal refineries has negatively impacted our coastal communities’ air and water quality. Moreover, poor communities, Indigenous groups, and communities of color bear a disproportionate burden when it comes to this pollution, and face higher rates of asthma and cancer. In my city of Corpus Christi, the oil company Enbridge is trying to expand its pipeline system through Native land. If this project is to go through, the Karankawa Kadla people will lose access to sacred artifacts, clean water, and ancestral grounds.
While so many Texans are suffering from the direct impacts of the fossil fuel industry, oil and gas companies are raking in record profits and putting public health on the backburner as they exploit citizens through high gas prices.
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Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times