Administration’s Next Five Year Plan Must Protect our Coasts

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John Rumpler

Clean Water Director and Senior Attorney, Environment America

Environment America

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) ended its series of public hearings on the environmental impacts of its next five year drilling plan (2012-2017). The five year drilling plan determines where offshore leasing should and should not be done and the sequencing of leasing.  

Mike Gravitz, Oceans Advocate of Environment America said the following: 

“There is no safe way to drill for oil. We must transition off oil, and this week’s spike in oil prices due to unrest in the Middle East is just another sharp reminder that we need to do everything we can to put cleaner cars and more public transit in the fast lane.

“Big oil and their allies in Congress are pushing to open up more of our precious oceans and coasts to dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. This will only threaten our coasts, while doing nothing to lessen our dependence on oil, and will have no impact on prices at the pump. Their efforts only aim to make super rich oil companies richer. I can’t think of a more ineffective and unrelated response to this geopolitical problem.  

Requiring new cars and light trucks to go 60 miles on a gallon of gas by 2025 would cut our oil use in 2030 by nearly three times the amount of oil we currently import from Saudi Arabia.

“As BOEMRE discusses what should go into the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the next Five Year Drilling Plan, we thank President Obama for his decision to keep most of our coasts free from drilling until at least 2017. 

Now, after this final hearing, President Obama and the related agency must heed the dangers of offshore drilling in their Environmental Impact Statement and continue to protect our coasts from the expansion of this hazardous practice.”