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A very unsightly view

By Staff | Nov 4, 2009

To the editor,

As an airline pilot between the ’70s and ’80s, I flew over the Gulf several times a month and got a good view of the red tide. As you may recall, severe fish kills resulted on the beach. I was told it was the result of the oil drilling rigs in the Gulf and the related chemical treatments.

If drilling were permitted, the oil rigs would be visible 50 to 100 miles off-shore, depending on their height and the observers’ viewing height above sea level, creating a very unsightly view.

An oil spill – such as the Exxon Valdez one in Alaska – cost millions, affected the entire King Salmon industry and impacted many varieties of wildlife for an indefinite future. Following that spill, the double hulled tanker was proposed, which the White House in 1990 opposed.

During the presidential campaign, both major parties agreed that our foreign oil bill was $700 billion per year, paid to middle eastern countries.

All the major oil companies have hundreds of oil leases which haven’t been activated. They’re looking for the cheapest way out. The more drilling we do, the farther we get from our goal of developing alternate energy sources, thereby eliminating our foreign oil dependence. T. Boone Pickens, an oil mogul, says our alternate energy source should be natural gas, which is inexpensive and abundantly available, or wind farms. He’s already invested in both types.

To expect Lee County or our state representatives to remain silent on this issue is unconscionable. The suggestion that 40,000 jobs would be created does not justify our support. Sanibel must lay out our opposition to off-shore drilling in no uncertain terms. “Drill Baby Drill” is not the answer!

Ed Sieber

Sanibel