Atlanta City Council Unanimously Passes Legislation Opposing Drilling and Seismic Testing Off Georgia Coastline
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Atlanta City Hall
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Atlanta, Georgia 30303
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February 8, 2018
Atlanta City Council Unanimously Passes Legislation Opposing Drilling and Seismic Testing Off
Councilmember Carla Smith Proposed the Legislation to Protect Georgia’s Coast
ATLANTA – The Atlanta City Council has unanimously passed legislation opposing seismic testing and oil- and gas-drilling activities off the Georgia coastline.
Councilmember Carla Smith, District 1, proposed the legislation to protect Georgia’s coast and advance Atlanta’s goal of expanding clean, renewable energy. Offshore oil and gas drilling have significant impacts on marine and other wildlife, and catastrophic events such as spills and blowouts pose a serious threat to human health and safety, according to environmentalists.
“Our coastal areas are a treasure,” said Smith. “They support significant fishing and tourism industries, which support tens of thousands of jobs and generate more than a billion dollars in economic activity for Georgia each year. All stand to lose if offshore exploration and drilling activities persist. Georgia’s economy is dependent on a healthy natural environment and safe ocean systems along our coast, and we are joining our coastal cities to oppose oil and gas drilling as well as seismic testing. This is another example of how Atlanta is a leader in promoting sustainability and resilience.”
More than 130 cities and counties in states along the Atlantic Coast, including seven in Georgia, have passed official resolutions against Atlantic drilling and seismic testing. Moreover, nearly 40 Georgia businesses have publicly spoken against these activities due to their adverse economic and environmental impacts.
Esther Stokes, chairwoman of the Atlanta Audubon Society and a resident of Brookwood Hills, is proud the City of Atlanta is taking a stand on an issue that extends well beyond our land-locked township.
“Coastal tourism is a huge industry in Georgia, and our Georgia ports do impressive amounts of business that benefit the whole state, including Atlanta,” said Stokes. “But these things are carefully managed in ways that do not damage the ecosystem. This is not true of offshore oil drilling, which comes with grave risks, as we know from recent catastrophic oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico. Drilling has the potential to destroy the goose that laid the golden egg—our rare and beautiful coast full of fish, birds, the endangered right whales, sea turtles…. It is our coast and as fellow Georgians, all of us are in this together.”