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Letter: Offshore drilling is just too risky

Over the next few days you will see a lot of debate in Congress about offshore oil drilling. Here are some facts you can check out yourself using Google.
Offshore oil drilling is a nasty and polluting activity. President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress of 2005 (including Republican Rep. Howard Coble) exempted oil companies from many of the provisions of the Clean Water Act, so that the oil companies could “legally” inject toxic chemicals into the wells to make drilling cheaper. These chemicals pollute groundwater and wells (Google: “Gulf Rigs: Islands of Contamination”). Once a well is drilled, it becomes a source of risk because most oil platforms are built to withstand only a category three hurricane. When Katrina hit New Orleans, the damage to the oil drilling infrastructure caused more than 400 leaks and a 500-mile-square oil slick. (Bush/McCain/Palin all say there were no leaks, but you can Google “hurricane Katrina oil slicks” and see the satellite photos). And when petroleum products are used, they cause asthma and other health problems ó more than four times more people die from cancer and other diseases caused by air pollution from cars than die from auto accidents in any given time period (Google: “Lives per Gallon”). All of this adds up to a monumental public health risk.
That is why Dr. Theresa Bratton, Democratic candidate for Congress, favors some enforceable rules be in place before more offshore drilling is allowed, and also favors energy independence through renewable energy.
Offshore drilling without new safeguards is an unnecessary public health risk.
ó Francis Koster
Kannapolis

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