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Coast Residents To Join Hands Tomorrow Against Drilling
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Photo: Hands Across the Sand: Mississippi Gulf Coast Facebook page

Mississippi coast residents will join others across the globe tomorrow to speak out against offshore drilling and in support of renewable energy.

Hands Across the Sand is now in its fifth year, and events will be held tomorrow across the United States and in several countries, including Australia. Helen Rose Patterson with the Gulf Restoration Network says a group will join hands on the beach in Biloxi tomorrow at around 11:30 a.m.

Efforts to bring drilling to Mississippi state waters came to a stand-still last year when the state lost a court challenge to its offshore leasing rules. But Patterson says the effort tomorrow is really about encouraging a shift of resources towards clean energy.

Still, many argue that offshore drilling has important benefits. Ken Nemeth, director of the Southern States Energy Board, says drilling has become safer in the years since the Gulf spill, with better technologies and stronger regulations. He says it also provides thousands of American jobs.

Nemeth says he is in favor of renewable energy as well, but as part of a diverse portfolio that includes oil and gas and other energy sources.