For the last 15 years we’ve been strongly opposed to offshore drilling – and have persistently said so on opinion pages from Georgia’s coast to Atlanta and beyond.

Likewise, we object to the recent approval of seismic testing in offshore areas along Georgia by the Trump administration. Not only will such testing irresponsibly harm marine life – as well documented – but all fossil-fuel related projects should be unconditionally opposed because they will worsen increasingly dangerous climate-change impacts.

Offshore drilling rig

Objections to offshore drilling must include well-reasoned justification supporting the urgent need to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to prevent catastrophic flooding, drought, and mass migrations that will be caused by unchecked climate change.

Damage to marine life done by seismic testing and offshore drilling – though very objectionable – will be far less destructive than permanent harm to both ocean and land-based species (including humans) brought by continued emission of GHGs.

Moreover, don’t be fooled by false claims justifying fossil-fuel projects on the basis of “U.S. energy independence.” Such assertions are misleading fabrications, made obvious by the fact that America is now EXPORTING more fossil fuels than ever before. Using this deception, the fossil-fuel industry is recklessly profiting at ever-greater risk to the future of our environment, economy, and quality of life.

Oppose offshore drilling and seismic testing – without doubt – BUT also oppose other fossil-fuel projects such as pipelines, processing plants, and export facilities. All such fossil-fuel activities will only worsen the disastrous effects of an overheating climate.  

Opposing offshore activities while remaining silent about how they’re related to increasing climate threats will only assist in prolonging irresponsible emission of GHGs – compounding future disasters, especially in coastal areas.

Another fabrication that must be defeated is the absurd obstructionist claim that reducing GHGs will harm the economy. Actually, the opposite is true – proven by hundreds of thousands of American jobs created by clean energy. 

Falsehoods spread by fossil-fuel profiteers are glaringly contradicted by the fact that there are already over TEN TIMES more U.S. jobs in solar energy than in coal. With responsible reforms in energy policy and continuing market trends favoring solar panels and wind turbines, replacing fossil-fuel-based power sources with clean energy will bring billions in American business opportunity and millions of new jobs – while helping to prevent the worst dangers of climate disruption. 

Concerned citizens are advised to support the Off Fossil Fuels Act, now in Congress. Likewise, city and county officials should adopt resolutions opposing both offshore seismic testing and fossil-fuel projects because these activities significantly jeopardize the quality of life in coastal Georgia.


David Kyler

David Kyler

David Kyler is the co-director of the Center for a Sustainable Coast, a non-profit membership organization he co-founded in 1997. The Center works to protect, preserve, and sustain the vital natural, cultural, and economic resources of coastal Georgia.

One of David’s deepest convictions, and a founding principle of the Center, is that environmental research, scientific information, and public involvement are urgently needed to improve decisions affecting the sustainability of natural systems. Accordingly, the Center’s slogan is “Advocating responsible decisions to sustain coastal Georgia’s environment and quality of life.”

To pursue the Center’s mission, Kyler gives priority to raising public awareness about issues affecting coastal Georgia at all levels – from local to state and national, to global. He frequently publishes letters and opinion columns in Georgia newspapers, often commenting on controversial issues that require improving the analysis and coordination of both economic and environmental considerations.

In the past three years alone, on behalf of the Center David has published close to one-hundred commentaries on a range of issues, including offshore drilling, protecting Cumberland Island National Seashore, risks of contamination by coal ash and other toxic materials, coastal development controls, and conflicts between environmental protection and economic development practices.

In the past decade, under Kyler’s influence, the Center has been one of the few Georgia non-profit organizations persistently voicing alarm about the global climate crisis and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. In 2018 and 2019 the Center hosted several public forums on climate issues in the Savannah area and collaborated with the Climate Reality Project in organizing a rally in Savannah, scheduled to be coordinated with the international Climate Strike.

Through his work with the Center, David is helping to redefine economic self-interest by incorporating the principles of sustainability in public policies governing both economic development and environmental protection. He is convinced that systemic analysis and life-cycle assessment, including thorough evaluation of economic and societal externalities, are essential to responsible environmental stewardship.

He holds degrees from Lehigh University (BS, Industrial Engineering) and Southern Illinois University (MS, Design Science), and has completed advanced studies in Resource Management and Policy at the State University of New York at Syracuse. Mr. Kyler has worked in environmental policy analysis, regional planning, and public-interest advocacy for over 40 years. He’s been a resident of Saint Simons Island since 1977 and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.