Environmental group brings oil drilling protest to Waikiki - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Environmental group brings oil drilling protest to Waikiki

Hands across the sand event Hands across the sand event
Stuart Coleman Stuart Coleman
Robert Harris Robert Harris

By Lisa Kubota - bio | email

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Environmental groups are getting ready to draw a line in the sand against offshore oil drilling. Hundreds of people in Hawaii will be heading to the beach this weekend to join the global campaign. The oil disaster along the Gulf coast is prompting people to take action. Hands Across the Sand events will be taking place at beaches around the world.

"It's time for a national plan to move us off of oil. It's an opportunity whenever you have a crisis to really recognize that this is a wakeup call. This is something that we need to move towards," said Robert Harris of Sierra Club Hawaii.

The goal is to discourage offshore oil drilling while promoting more sustainable energy sources. The current crisis is thousands of miles away, but local environmental groups believe Hawaii needs to be on alert.

"We bring in approximately 50 million barrels of oil every year, and so the possibility of these tankers crashing and actually producing oil along our coastline is a definite possibility," said Harris. "We've had some historical precedent of that happening in the past."

This weekend's gathering in Waikiki will also include a mock oil spill.

"We're actually going to be having some signs and using it as an educational opportunity to show what it would look like if we would have an oil spill here in Waikiki, one of the most important economic engines of the state," Harris explained.

There will be several Hands Across the Sand events statewide this Saturday. To find one in your area, go to http://www.handsacrossthesand.com

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