Ted Danson: 'We Shouldn't Just Close Some Coasts to Oil Drilling - We Should Close Them All'

April 20th, 2011 10:43 AM

The star of the hit series now in syndication "Cheers" made a strong statement about offshore drilling on the one year anniversary of the BP oil spill.

"We should not just close some of our coasts to drilling," wrote Ted Danson at the Huffington Post Tuesday. "We should close all of them": 

President Obama's proposal to close the Atlantic and eastern Gulf to drilling for at least five years was a good one, but it didn't go far enough. The especially-vulnerable Arctic Ocean is still on the table. Last year I went to Barrow, the northernmost city in America, and had the honor of meeting the Inupiat people. Many native Alaskans still live a subsistence existence tied closely to the Arctic Ocean, a great gray and blue expanse that defines life there.

We worry about prices at the pump today, but native Alaskans and Arctic wildlife are the ones who will pay the price for offshore drilling when an accident occurs. And it will happen. In the Gulf, we had emergency resources and personnel who could show up in hours and scatter to shore when a storm rolled in, only to be back on the job as soon as weather cleared; in the Arctic, you have none of those abilities.

We should not just close some of our coasts to drilling. We should close all of them. Offshore drilling will always result in another disaster. Gas prices at the pump are a politically volatile thing, but they aren't determined by domestic drilling; they are driven by global demand in a global market. Gas prices were halved in the second half of 2008 because demand dropped for purely economic reasons, and they dropped 30 cents in the months immediately following the Deepwater Horizon blowout. We need to focus on a clean energy future that doesn't leave us hostage to seesawing daily gas prices.

For those that have forgotten, the nickname for Danson's character on "Cheers" was "Mayday Malone."

This should likely be changed to "Doomsday Malone."