Moonlight Beach goers join hands against offshore drilling

As part of the international Hands Across the Sand day of action, residents throughout Southern California met at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, as well as San Diego’s Mission Beach, Huntington Beach, Los Angeles and others to raise awareness about the dangers of dirty fuels and the need to speed the transition to available, affordable clean energy solutions. The line of people joining hands across the beaches was a strong show of support for clean energy at a time when a host of new dirty fuel proposals are under consideration.

Offshore drilling remains deeply unpopular in California, where seven in 10 people oppose new offshore drilling, according to a July 2017 survey from the Public Policy Institute of California. Tourism, recreation and fishing along California’s coast generate nearly $20 billion a year and support 400,000 jobs.

This year’s Hands Across The Sand marks three years since a pipeline carrying offshore oil ruptured in Refugio State Beach just north of Santa Barbara, spilling 2,500 barrels of crude across a 7-mile stretch of one of California’s most biologically diverse habitat. California legislators are currently considering a state ban on offshore drilling (AB 1775 and SB 834). The proposal includes a ban on the development of infrastructure that would increase offshore drilling. Today’s Hands Across The Hands events, organized by local chapters of Surfrider, Oceana, Sierra Club, Greenpeace,, Heal the Bay, Sea Shepherd, and others.

Similar events were held across the country and around the world. Thousands of citizens joined against a range of dirty fuel projects from offshore drilling and seismic testing to hydraulic fracturing, tar sands and coal. The global response was a clear indication that the future of our planet rests on the protection of our natural resources and the switch to economies powered by renewable energy.

The Hands Across the Sand events are aimed at steering America’s energy policy away from its dependence on fossil fuels and towards clean energy. The goal is to show leaders in all levels of government, that public support is strong for moving away from dirty fuels and adopting policies that encourage clean energy instead.

— Submitted news release