Senate Okays Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Or, “Back to Drill, Drill, Drill…”

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The U.S. Senate just passed a bill opening up 8.3 million acres of Gulf of Mexico coastline to oil and natural gas drilling, ending a ban against offshore drilling.

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This, of course, may be just the first step toward dismantling the federal moratorium protecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts from drilling, which is precisely what a much more sweeping House bill, pushed by ocean enemy No. 1 Richard Pombo (pictured), would do.

Said Richard Charter, co-chairman of the National Outer Continental Shelf Coalition, of the bill: “This is death by a thousand cuts for coastal protections nationwide. The senators who support this bill have made it clear that while this is as much as they can open now, they ultimately want to open much more of the coast to drilling. So the question really becomes: How much happens this year … and how much might be left for next year?”

Environmental groups and some Democrats say, reasonably, that opening coastal waters to drilling only feeds US demand for fossil fuel. As Sen. Harry Reid put it, “The Democratic caucus is very clear that there will be no more offshore drilling. This is it. Don’t go back to the drill, drill, drill theory.” Which is weird; but you get the idea.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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