Driving down the 101 from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles has been one of my core memories since I was little. Staring out the window at the sea and watching the tiny black ships in the distance would brighten my day. They made the drive more scenic, and I loved imagining people on the ships watching dolphins swim by. When I was old enough to learn that the “tiny black ships” were actually offshore oil rigs, my heart sank with disappointment. The people on those “ships” were not admiring wildlife, they were destroying it. I knew then and there I would not support oil drilling. Contaminating our oceans for fossil fuels was not worth it.
According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, offshore oil drilling not only affects ocean wildlife but the respiratory health of humans as well. Oil drilling releases toxic chemicals into the air, including 20 possible carcinogens, according to the NRDC [Natural Resources Defense Council].
President Biden should do more than temporarily halt new offshore oil rigs. He should prevent new fracking wells from being constructed on and offshore.
Also, Governor Gavin Newsom should follow Senator Feinstein’s ban on offshore oil drilling and ban oil and gas drilling in all of California. Besides respiratory diseases, onshore fracking has led to birth defects, increased chances of catching COVID-19, and cancer. I urge Governor Newsom to follow suit and end fracking now.