Actress Kate Walsh trekked to Capitol Hill Wednesday to make the case that President Barack Obama should abandon any plans for offshore Atlantic drilling.
“It was incredible to hear how passionate, and again the myriad of reasons, people have for coming up against it,” Walsh told HOH. “Hopefully, we will be able to convince the president to take it out of the plan." Last January, the Interior Department unveiled the latest of its five-year plan for offshore drilling, which included leases off the Atlantic coast. Walsh, most famous from “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice,” joined with Oceana, which is in a major push against industrial offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. She previously lobbied on Capitol Hill with Oceana in 2011 on the one-year anniversary of Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The actress has been involved with Oceana for about eight years. “The oceans are all of ours, we share them. So what affects the East Coast, affects the West Coast, affects the Earth,” she said.
She went to offices of lawmakers representing Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
After leaving the Hill, she went to the Interior Department and met with Janice Schneider, assistant secretary of land and minerals management and Brandi Colander, deputy assistant secretary of land and minerals management.
The Department of Interior plans to hold an Atlantic lease sale in 2021. “There’s no other place in the country that people want drilling,” Walsh said. “And now the coastal communities of the mid and south Atlantic have said ‘absolutely not.’”
Walsh also went to the White House to meet with Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Dan Utech, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change.
“The meeting at the White House couldn’t have gone better,” she said. “It’s incredible to have a room full of people representing all different communities along the Atlantic Seaboard.”
On Tuesday night , she and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., attended an event at George Washington University to solicit support.
Ted Danson, known for his role in “Cheers,” and Sam Waterston, familiar from “Law & Order,” also attended and Reps. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., and Jared Huffman, D-Calif., were supposed to attend but had to cancel due to blizzard-related travel issues.
Walsh is close to the issue because her brother was a commercial fisherman. Living in Los Angeles, she said, she experienced firsthand what happened in the aftermath of the notorious 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. “You could not walk on the beach without getting tar and oil on your feet,” she said.
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