Protect Our Oceans

Some in Congress want to require offshore oil drilling in perpetuity

We spoke out against a bill in the House of Representatives to perpetually mandate oil and gas leases in our oceans.


Ungnoi Lookjeab |

Last week, Environment America joined a letter signed my more than 65 other groups calling on federal lawmakers to reject disastrous provisions in  H.R. 4821, which would require annual oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.

We can do better than that in 2023. We’ve known for decades that oil and gas exploration in the ocean is horrible for local wildlife such as dolphins, sea turtles and seabirds. It devastates coastal environments and ecosystems, and adds fuel to climate change.

If the provisions in this bill are approved, it will shackle us to a polluting practice for years to come, at a time when we should be leaning hard into renewable forms of energy.

Our recent Renewable on the Rise report outlines that renewable energy is growing rapidly. Let’s lean into renewable energy instead.

You can read excerpts of the letter below:

Dear Chair Murray, Ranking Member Collins, Chair Granger, and Ranking Member DeLauro:

We are writing to express our strong opposition to several legislative provisions included in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 4821) pending in the House of Representatives.  Specifically, sections 464 and 472 of the bill would mandate in perpetuity a minimum of two annual region-wide oil and gas lease sales in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas and two in the Alaska region. 

Pollution from fossil fuels is fueling climate disasters–including the wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme heat experienced throughout the nation this past summer. The offshore drilling needed to produce those fuels poses considerable risks to the health of coastal communities, workers, businesses, and wildlife. Without bold action from Congress and the President to phase out offshore drilling, these impacts will only get worse. That is why community-led organizations in the Gulf and Alaska, alongside allied national environmental organizations, have united in a call to end new offshore oil and gas lease sales as the first step to phasing out oil and gas development.

We urge you to act boldly on behalf of the American people and the planet and reject any provisions in the Fiscal Year 2024 spending bills that would mandate new lease sales for offshore drilling. 


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