House Votes to Protect U.S. Coasts from Offshore Drilling

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2019 — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to permanently protect the Atlantic, Pacific and eastern Gulf of Mexico from dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. The passage of the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act (H.R. 1941) and the Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act (H.R. 205) comes on the heels of a bipartisan House appropriations vote in June to block funding for new offshore drilling activities for fiscal year 2020.

“Representatives Cunningham, Rooney and Castor should be applauded for putting politics aside and coming together to protect our coasts from offshore drilling,” said Diane Hoskins, campaign director at Oceana. “Today’s vote to permanently ban offshore drilling underscores the strength of bipartisan opposition to President Trump’s radical drilling plan. Opening nearly all our waters to dirty and dangerous drilling is out of touch with every East and West Coast governor. Offshore drilling threatens our fishing, tourism and recreation industries and everyone who calls the coast home. But the fight is not over and we must not give up until permanent protections are established or President Trump’s plan is officially off the table.”

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Oceana is now calling on the Senate to make this legislation a reality and permanently protect our coasts from the threat of expanded offshore drilling activities.

About the legislation:

  • H.R. 1941, introduced by Reps. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.) and Francis Rooney (R-Fla.), would permanently block offshore oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic Ocean, Straits of Florida and Pacific Ocean.
  • H.R. 205, introduced by Reps. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), would amend the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA) to permanently block offshore oil and gas leasing off Florida’s Gulf Coast. The current moratorium in the eastern Gulf is set to expire in 2022.

Background:

As of today, opposition and concern over offshore drilling activities includes:

  • Every single East and West Coast governor, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, California, Oregon and Washington
  • More than 365 East and West Coast municipalities
  • Over 2,200 local, state and federal bipartisan officials
  • East and West Coast alliances representing over 49,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families
  • New England, South and Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils
  • Commercial and recreational fishing interests, such as Southeastern Fisheries Association, Snook and Gamefish Foundation, Fisheries Survival Fund, Southern Shrimp Alliance, Billfish Foundation and International Game Fish Association
  • California Coastal Commission, California Fish and Game Commission and California State Lands Commission
  • U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, U.S. Air Force and Florida Defense Support Task Force

More information on opposition to offshore drilling activities can be found 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 200 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that one 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.