House-Passed Federal Spending Bill Blocks Expansion of Offshore Drilling
Press Release Date: July 22, 2022
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to approve the Fiscal Year 2023 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies funding bill. The bill includes language that would prevent the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) from spending resources that would support expanded offshore drilling or seismic airgun blasting in any unleased areas of the Atlantic, Pacific, or Arctic Oceans as well as the Eastern Gulf of Mexico for FY2023. The bill now heads to the Senate for approval.
Oceana campaign director Diane Hoskins issued the following statement in response to the bill’s passage in the House:
“Congratulations to Reps. Chellie Pingree (ME-1), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Jared Huffman (CA-2), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) on getting this funding bill through the House with crucial protections against offshore drilling. While coastal communities still need the Biden administration to include no new leases in the final Five-Year Plan, the language in this funding bill brings us closer to permanently ending new dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. New offshore drilling is incompatible with any serious effort to combat the climate crisis and threatens coastal jobs and economies that rely on a healthy ocean.
“There is a diverse and bipartisan coalition supporting ending new offshore drilling. I strongly encourage House leaders to ensure this language is included in the final version of the funding bill before it goes to President Biden for his signature.”
The Trump administration’s previous drilling plan confirmed that new leases will not help gas prices, stating that production “in newly available OCS areas will likely not occur for a decade or more,” and new leasing “cannot provide resources to quickly mitigate the effects of a national energy emergency.”
A recent Oceana analysis found that permanent offshore drilling protections for all unleased federal waters could prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That is the equivalent to taking every car in the United States off the road for the next 15 years. The analysis also found that permanent protections in all unleased federal waters could prevent more than $720 billion in damages to people, property, and the environment.
For more information about Oceana’s efforts to stop the expansion of offshore drilling, please click here.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.usa.oceana.org to learn more.