Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the fiscal year 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies funding bill. The bill includes language restricting the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) from spending any resources that would enable the expansion of offshore drilling and related activities to any unleased areas of the Atlantic, Pacific, or Arctic Oceans as well as the Eastern Gulf of Mexico for fiscal year 2022. If enacted, the measure would also prevent BOEM from authorizing any permits for seismic airgun blasting in these areas.
Oceana released the following statement from campaign director Diane Hoskins in reaction to the bill’s passage in the House:
“Oceana congratulates 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 their success in getting this funding bill, and its offshore drilling protections, through the House. While there is still work to be done, the inclusion of this language is a significant step toward ending dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. The expansion of 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.
Congress has blocked offshore drilling for decades through similar funding measures and we’re counting on them to once again enact a moratorium on new offshore drilling. Both Republicans and Democrats strongly support measures to end new offshore drilling. We urge the House leaders to ensure this language is included in the final bill sent to President Biden.”
A recent Oceana analysis found that ending new leasing for offshore oil and gas could prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions as well as more than $720 billion in damages to people, property, and the environment. Additionally, the analysis found that ending new leasing will also safeguard the U.S. clean coast economy, which supports around 3.3 million American jobs and $250 billion in GDP through activities like tourism, recreation, and fishing.
As of today, opposition and concern over offshore drilling activities includes:
For more information about Oceana’s efforts to stop the expansion of offshore drilling, please click here.