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Let’s Sink Trump’s Offshore Drilling Plan

Let’s Sink Trump’s Offshore Drilling Plan

On January 4th, 2018 the Trump administration declared war 90% of US oceans targeted for drilling. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke announced the next phase of President Trump’s new draft proposed 5-year (2019-2024) Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The plan includes opening the entire Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida for drilling including all of the Jersey Shore and NY’s South Shore and would allow rigs to come within 3 miles of beaches.

The federal government is accepting comments until March 9th on the Draft Proposed Program, so now is the time to speak up! Join local Waterkeepers from Maine to Florida, across the Gulf, from California to Alaska in standing up for our coastal waters, and together we can sink this dangerous drilling plan.

Please take a few minutes to submit your comments and tell the Trump administration that you do not want to see any more leasing of public lands for offshore drilling. Below is a sample letter for you to use — but your comment will be even more impactful if you include your personal experiences. For example, talk about your connections to coastal communities, fishing businesses, tourism, or your desire to transition to a clean energy economy.


Dear Ms. Kelly Hammerle, Chief, National Oil and Gas Leasing Program Development and Coordination Branch, BOEM:

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the “2019-2024 Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program” (Draft Proposed Program). I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed expansion of offshore leasing for oil and gas drilling. Opening up nearly all of the coastal areas in the United States to offshore drilling is not in the public interest, as it would have devastating impacts on our coastal communities, oceans, and climate.

Expanding leasing for offshore oil and gas drilling sets us on the wrong course for our economy, our public health, and our environment. As the Draft Proposed Program itself admits, opening more areas to leasing means that, for years to come, companies will be building out drilling infrastructure, locking us into decades of increasing fossil fuel dependence. There is no evidence that we need offshore oil and gas for energy independence or a strong economy — rather, expanding offshore drilling puts the economies of thousands of coastal communities at grave risk.

Offshore drilling companies have demonstrated time and time again that there is no safe way to drill for oil and gas in a marine environment. For example, while the Gulf of Mexico is trying to recover from the massive BP oil spill, it continues to be plagued by constant small-scale oil spills, including the Taylor Energy oil leak that has been ongoing since 2004 and which the company claims cannot be stopped. How can the federal government propose allowing more offshore drilling when we already know that it cannot be done safely?

Offshore drilling and the seismic airgun blasting that comes with it also have devastating impacts on ocean life, which is already under extreme pressure from climate change impacts, overfishing, and pollution. Coastal communities rely on safe, healthy oceans; their economies and ways of life could be wiped out by another major oil spill.

[Insert your own personal message here. Consider the following:

  • Why protecting our oceans is so important to you.
  • Why preserving coastal areas is important to you (for example: Do you have a favorite beach you could not imagine being covered in oil?)
  • Why you want to see the United States move away from promoting fossil fuel production.]

Our public resources should not be managed in a manner that puts the profits of a few companies before the well-being of millions of Americans. Therefore, I urge you to neither approve the Draft Proposed program nor schedule any new lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, or in any national marine sanctuary or marine national monument.

Thank you for considering my comments.



Next Steps:

After the March 9, the Department of Interior will review comments and a Proposed Program will be released, followed by a 90-day comment period. Then the Proposed Final Program will enter a 60-day review by Congress prior to approval.