Rally touts fossil-fuel-free future

A rally sign advocates for a fossil-fuel-free future.

When proponents of clean energy gather in Broad Ripple

Saturday to advocate an evolution away from fossil fuels, they won't be alone.

The local


is planned in conjunction with a series of actions around the

world centered on the theme of ending fossil-fuel dependency and off-shore drilling. Global event organizer, Hands Across the Sand, reports

that activists are planning to gather at noon in their respective time zones in

at least 32 states and five continents.

"Hoosiers need to take climate

change, and our dependency on fossil fuels seriously," local event

organizer Angie Brooks said. "Maybe this

year, when the high was 100 degrees day after day, and our state is brown

instead of green, we should consider going green, instead of brown."

The event kicks

off in New Zealand, moving around the globe throughout the day with the final

action set to take place in Hawaii. In Indiana, the rally is set for noon Aug.

4 near the Monon Trail on the corner of Coil Street and Cornell Avenue.

Participants are welcome to arrive as early as 10:30 a.m. at 6528 Cornell Ave.

to create signs. Participants are encouraged to utilize public transportation,

ride bikes, or carpool.

"We are all energy, need

energy, use energy," Brooks said. "Energy is non-partisan. This is a

family-friendly, peaceful gathering."

Brooks was born and

raised in Indiana, but developed her sense of environmental activism while

living in Florida. She learned about the fragility of ecosystems living on the

Gulf Coast, in Naples, where she taught her daughter to swim. She held a Hands Across the Sand event in Atlanta following

the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 and hopes that the upcoming action will

increase awareness of the ongoing issues related to the disaster.


and fishing industries are still recovering from the explosion on British

Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which killed 11 workers, injured 17

others and launched an epic oil spill of more than 200 million gallons that is

responsible for what officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration call the

largest Natural Resources Damage Assessment ever taken


Among the damage so far chronicled

by NOAA scientists: dead and dying coral and anemic, underweight dolphins with compromised immune systems and liver

and lung diseases related to oil exposure.

Election season is also likely to

enflame the rhetoric surrounding energy issues.

On July

25, House Republicans voted to revoke the Obama administration's five-year plan

for offshore drilling.

The Interior Department's 2012-2017 offshore oil and gas

leasing program, proposed 15 potential lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and

around Alaska, while the Republicans' plan, according to a July 25 Politico story, "provides for 29 lease

sales over the same five-year period, and includes areas of the Atlantic coast

from Maine to Virginia, and areas off the southern coast of California as well

as Alaskan and Gulf areas."


predict the effort is not likely to find support in the Senate, plus the White

House promised a veto. Still, it will force several legislators to take a

public stance on the issue in an election year.


estimate an increase in offshore drilling would bring in $600 million, along

with thousands of jobs.

A statement from the Office of Management and Budget said the administration's plan "makes areas containing more than

75 percent of estimated, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in our

oceans available for exploration and development — including all of the

highest resource areas on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf."

Among the chief complaints about the Republicans' proposed

expansion, officials said, the proposal would open several new areas to

potential drilling without oversight from the secretary of the interior, who is

charged with assessing the suitability of new sites.

"The bill also would establish unworkable deadlines

and substantive and procedural limitations on important environmental review

and other analysis that is critical to complying with laws," officials said,

naming the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the

National Historic Preservation Act, and the Clean Water Act.


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