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WASHINGTON, July 29, 2021 — 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:

  • Nearly every East and West Coast governor, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, California, Oregon, and Washington
  • More than 390 local municipalities
  • Over 2,300 local, state, and federal bipartisan officials
  • East and West Coast alliances representing over 56,000 businesses
  • Pacific, New England, South Atlantic, and Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils
  • More than 120  scientists 
  • More than 80 former military leaders
  • Commercial and recreational fishing interests such as Southeastern Fisheries Association, Snook and Gamefish Foundation, Fisheries Survival Fund, Billfish Foundation, and International Game Fish Association
  • California Coastal Commission, California Fish, and Game Commission and California State Lands Commission
  • Department of Defense, NASA, U.S. Air Force, and Florida Defense Support Task Force

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