Oceana Calls Offshore Production Act “Major Give-Away to Big Oil” and “Reward for Incompetence”
Press Release Date: July 30, 2015
Location: Washington, D.C.
Today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed the Offshore Production and Energizing National Security Act of 2015 by a vote of 12 to 10. Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) legislation combines three previously introduced offshore drilling and revenue-sharing bills (S. 1276, 1278 and 1279) with a provision to lift the U.S. ban on exports of crude oil. The resulting bill promotes offshore oil and gas drilling by forcing lease sales in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans and in a protected area in the Gulf of Mexico, while also offering revenue-sharing to nearby coastal states and promoting crude oil exports.
In response, Oceana’s Vice President for the U.S. Jacqueline Savitz released the following statement:
“The Offshore Production and Energizing National Security Act is a massive give-away to Big Oil and a slap in the face to coastal communities that have vocally opposed offshore drilling. This bill would force offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean in the face of widespread and growing public opposition. In an apparent effort to buy their support, it also offers sharing of drilling revenues to Southeast coastal states. If passed, this legislation would nullify a 2006 law signed by President Bush to protect the Gulf coast of Florida from oil drilling through 2022, while overriding major environmental laws to protect marine mammals, endangered species and clean air. In the Arctic, the bill would mandate lease sales and reward the incompetence of oil companies by authorizing free 10-year extensions of oil and gas leases, on which they have failed to capitalize over the past decade. Citizens in coastal communities rely on healthy oceans to support important tourism, fishing and recreation-based economies, and many such communities have formally opposed offshore drilling. Oceana will stand with coastal communities that are working to protect their ocean economies, and we will fight to oppose this bill every step of the way.”