Hundreds Gather Against Offshore Drilling – Hands Across The Sand

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by June 28, 2010 • 22 comments

It was a BEAUTIFUL Saturday in Panama City Beach, and if one didn’t watch the news (or follow pcbdaily), one might have no idea oil from the Deep Water Horizon is looming in the Gulf, posing a serious threat to our coastal living.

On June 26, 2010, hundreds gathered behind Spinnaker Beach Club to draw a line in the sand to say “No to new offshore oil drilling, and Yes to clean energy “. How did they do this? By joining hands.

In addition to those behind Spinnaker, Panama City Beach supporters gathered at Laguna Beach,  Pier Park, and various other beaches.  But that’s only sand in a dune compared to the big picture.  Over one hundred thousand people are estimated to have gathered at over 900 events, including all states in the US, and 37 countries outside the US.

Hands Across the Sand was founded by Dave Rauschkolb, owner of Bud & Alleys, a popular restaurant just a couple of towns west of us in Seaside, FL.  Before anyone heard of “Deep Water Horizon”, Florida legislation was being proposed that would allow offshore oil drilling off Florida’s coast – as close as 3 miles from our shoreline.  On Februrary 13 2010, the first Hands Across the Sand event came together, with over 60 events primarily around Florida.

A little more than four months and one horrific offshore oil disaster later, Hands Across the Sand has become not only an organization Floridians may hear about around town or on Facebook, but an organization millions have heard of or read about by means of CNN, The New York Times, and others. Musician, surfer, and clean energy supporter, Jack Johnson promoted the event on his social networking avenues, and created a huge influx of inbound traffic to  handsacrossthesand.com.

With the uncertainty that Gulf residents are facing, there has been  a fair share of negativity. Lots of blame. Lots of tears. And lots of frustration.

But on Saturday, all that was put aside for a peaceful show of protest, joining Hands Across the Sand.

Angie Caughlin is a web development consultant at CYber SYtes.

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1 L. McCombs June 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Sooo, is it fair that the coast of Louisiana (Gulf of Mexico) provide the majority of the fuel for the cars / airplanes traveling to Florida for vacation?? Florida needs energy to support its tourism probably more that any other state. Louisiana doesn’t get a penny from deepwater production, the Federal Government gets it all (which includes Florida). Everyone would love to see an alternative fuel but no one has come up with anything close to fossil fuels. Instead of standing on the beach holding hands, please use your head and start working at alternative energy.

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2 jobeibi June 29, 2010 at 1:06 pm

“Louisiana doesn’t get a penny… the Federal Government gets it all (which includes Florida).”

Huh? If the FG includes Florida, then it includes Lousiana too.

And claiming that Louisiana gets nothing from oil is just laughable. Louisiana has a huge number of people employed in the oil industry and in other jobs that support the oil industry such as office supply stores, restaurants, etc. Your own governor has said how much Lousiana depends on gulf oil.

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3 James D. June 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm

“Louisiana has a huge number of people employed in the oil industry and in other jobs that support the oil industry such as office supply stores, restaurants, etc.”

Yep! Which is exactly why a federal judge lifted the boneheaded 6-month moratorium on drilling wrongly imposed by Obama. Why punish thousands of workers and their families for something that has been (correctly) ruled an accident?!! All drilling operations have been subjected to extensive inspections in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon — and passed. Why continue to forbid them from operation, sidelining the workers and causing deeper economic pain for coastal Louisiana??

The only reason to continue such a “punishment” is for what the Obama administration deems as political gain — “never waste a good crisis”.

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4 L. McCombs July 1, 2010 at 10:15 am

Sorry jobeibi, I meant to say that Louisiana doesn’t get a penny of royalties from deepwater production. And….., you are right, unfortunately Louisiana is part of the FG, and we do get our little drop in the bucket from the Feds. Which is really sad, considering the rest of the country shares in those royalties. If all of the oil/gas pipelines were cut off at the Louisiana/Texas/Mississippi state lines, the rest of the country would really be protesting.

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5 Cc burns June 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm

We are getting married in pcb July 30th no matter what on the beach. Very optimistic about the beach. Never been to Florida or seen the ocean, should be fun. Any advice from locals?

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6 beach guy June 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm

If you are actually having the ceremony on the sand, please make it an informal affair (shorts, tank tops). I was married on the beach years ago, and its brutal out there having to wear suit and tie in July. Congratulations, just my opinion.

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7 Bill H. June 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm

My wife and I were married on the beach in Panama City Beach 10 years ago on July 3rd. Was about 98 degrees. Go informal, we did. Shorts for me and sundress for my wife. Great memories. Best wishes!

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8 L. McCombs June 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm

By the way, I love PCBDaily. Great information. I check it daily. Best of luck to PCB during this crisis. Hope to be there soon.

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9 L. McCombs June 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Maybe Hands Across the Sands should consider that royalties the Fed’s are collecting from Deepwater production go to our universities for alternative energy research, Have your followers demand that from their Congressmen, instead of promoting more taxes for the research.

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10 Cc burns June 28, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Keeping it casual. Everyone is pretty much wearing linen. What about places to go while there? Family friendly and others for adults?

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11 Shawn Youngblood June 28, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Where would we be without offshore drilling? Many of the hand holders would have been walking. Not to mention nearly everything we use is made of petroleum products including plastics, carpet, composite materials, paint….Even Dave Rauschkolb(founder of “Hands”) uses Natural Gas to cook the food in his restaurant. Natural gas happens to be the majority of what is drilled for in the gulf! He stands against it yet uses an abundance of the products, like many of the handholders. There are more than 1 million americans whose livelihood depends on offshore drilling. I don’t know about the rest of the US but I am not ready to give up on another world market over one accident that in five years will be more than likely forgotten. Don’t we have enough unemployed? Aren’t we as working Americans paying enough taxes for their unemployment? Lets not increase the workload and turn another market place over to foreign entities. I promise offshore drilling would not end just because we did not do it anymore. We would just let other countries prosper in our Gulf! Check out drilling in Mexico and Cuba!

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12 Mijachad June 29, 2010 at 10:54 am

I read this blog everyday for all the new posts and to see updates. This is a hard subject to touch on because so many people really are affected by it. Not just those out in the water working hard to provide the oil and Natural gas, but those inland who process it and get it out to all of us. Its not secret that we rely heavily on petro fuels and we will continue to for a while.
I agree that alternative fuel(S) need to be created and implemented, but that is a huge undertaking that I’m not sure some of the activists understand and it will be costly I think for everyone to switch over to. Until then offshore drilling will have to probably continue, but stronger check and balances should be in place, and hazard control should be looked at it seems. It just blows my mind that we can get to the moon, have a space station to dock with and get to Mars, but we can’t get down 5,000 feet and put a cap on a broken pipe??? COME on really!! I have my opinions that certain groups leave things go sometimes to push their agendas at the risk of everyone and the enviornment.
While I’m here I’m going to make my push there. The enviornment is too fragile whether people want to believe it or not. This oil issue may be forgotten in five years, but the effects will be lasting for far longer than that. It takes much longer for disaster after effects to be seen and for them to be cleaned up. Plus all of the animals that are killed, if they are already in endangered numbers it can sometimes be impossible for them to recover as a species. If the balance is thrown off enough, there can be issues for fishermen in the future too.
It’s really great to worry about the beaches and the economic effect oil can have on them, but its what damage takes place in the water that can have a bigger effect (in my opinion from what I research). Sand can be taken away and refilled, but can you filter an ocean and its inhabitants?
I’ll get off my horse now.
Thanks, and after all that, I will say I can’t wait to get down there, oil or no oil to see the beach!

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13 captgeobob June 29, 2010 at 8:13 am

What a crock. Open up the oilfields where we know there is oil and easy to drill and there won’t be any deep drilling in the gulf. Protest the govt, not bp, they’re just trying to make a living like the rest of us. As far as I’m concerned the guy at Seaside is only up to his old tricks of getting publicity for his business. If you ever talked to him as I have you will find out that money and publicity rules his life.

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14 clancy June 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm

You are “right on” Capt;…..Rauschkalb sees himself as the “Prince of Seaside”…the rest of us see him as the “court jester” organizing the not-in-my-backyard group without a clue about the “big picture” on the landward side of the sand dune. “Thousands of people participated in holding hands…” The rest of the 300 million people in America view the “handholders” as idiots who don’t understand the flimsy “alternative fuel” myth at this point in history, so therefore they have NO solution,…only protest yelps…..

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15 Ween June 29, 2010 at 11:22 am

They should be holding hands in support of drilling in Alaska. The hypocrisy is UNBELIEVABLE to me. Weak minded people….

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocrisy

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16 workhorse June 29, 2010 at 9:39 pm

This leak could have been stopped weeks ago, with a tactical nuclear device placement and detonation. The russians have done it five times with a very high success rate.
What about the radiation?
Jaque cousteau made trips to nuke test sites in the pacific and observed that the enviromental damage was minimal at the most. (both of the above facts can be found on multiple sources, so I am not making this up. the NYT and Fox both mentioned this, so it is not biased opinion).
A nuke would fix this, so, why have we not tried it?
Our country’s leadership does not want to because use of nukes would disagree with their philosophy, and maybe a nuclear weapons treaty (but that treaty was intended for banning nuke use as a weapon). Personally, I think the people of this country are more important than some treaty made with other countries that hate us. If most of our politicians weren’t spineless, then they would care more about us than other countries too. In addition, a huge oil spill only gathers momentum for cap and trade legislation and more uneccesary environmental legislation. This spill continues because they want it to. By allowing the latter, it only furthers a political agenda. So much for caring about the environment, or the countless people, animals, and money lost from industry due to this spill. Then again, what more do you expect from our politicians. they only seek to increase their power. They could care less about the ones really effected by this catastrophe.
Remember who the real enemies are, most of our politicians.

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17 Hayley June 30, 2010 at 1:56 am

Everyone is digressing and not reporting on the oil on the beach situation anymore…..C’mon Jason get your butt out there and let us know what’s going on!!!! I miss hearing the updates….and trust that you are reporting what you see.

P.S. Hands in the Sand is a great idea……what about though ‘Arse on the Grass’ Everyone go sit outside the whitehouse until they do something!!!!! I am talking hypothetically of course!!!!

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18 Robert Stevens June 30, 2010 at 6:37 am

Great post! Spot-on about that White House INACTION!

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19 Robert Stevens June 30, 2010 at 9:14 am

Do you really want to see frustration?

http://www.newsherald.com/news/one-85037-duty-civic.html

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20 Heather June 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

I am sure these people who wanted to protest drilling didn’t drive their vehicles to this event. They probably rode their bikes. No, wait……bicycle tires, seats, ect. are produced from petroleum. Well, then they probably walked there. Hold on, that can’t be it….shoe soles are petroleum products too. The truth is oil provides MUCH more than just gas for big SUVs. We use it so much in our every day lives in ways we don’t even think about. To protest drilling in our own waters is shallow/narrow-minded. You can’t protest drilling AND whine about the economy because to stop drilling or to raise taxes on it will make our economic situation far worse. The few things I named are just a drop in the bucket to all the items we use that are petroleum based so just imagine how your household budget….much less the national economy…..would be effected if the cost of producing those items were significantly increased due to a reduction in oil. What we need is to be able to drill closer, like that 3 mile area they were protesting. The oil would have been long since cleaned up & the spill barely a blip on the media’s radar if the well wasn’t so deep. As in the case of the oil spilled during Katrina. Most people never even heard about it because it was cleaned up so quickly. And just because an oil well is only 3 miles from shore does not mean the platform is that close or even visible. They’re called pipes, people.

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21 clancy June 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

You tell ’em Heather !….Because they don’t have a clue !

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22 James D. June 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Clearly most people “get it” when it comes to the need for drilling while gradually shifting to alternative energy sources. However, as one who has been coming to PCB since birth, I will agree that Florida needs to solidify “NIMBY” legislation (Not In My Backyard).

Both Texas and Louisiana have been at the drilling game for decades — and have the infrastructure in place to support the industry at all levels. Any reserves in coastal Florida waters are miniscule compared to what lies beneath Alaska. The common sense solution is to let TX and LA do what they do best — while leaving Florida to do what it does best — tourism!!

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