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Congress Opens Our Coasts to New Drilling

June 30 2013 | Ocean Ecosystems, Ocean Energy,
by Pete Stauffer

The House of Representatives has passed legislation to dramatically expand offshore drilling in the U.S. The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act (HR 2231) would double the amount of drilling off our coasts by requiring the Department of the Interior to lease at least 50% of unleased acreage with the greatest resources. Effectively, this would mean new offshore drilling off every U.S. coastline, including the states of California, Virginia, South Carolina, and Alaska (see graphic below). The bill would also reduce environmental review for new drilling, despite overwhelming evidence that oversight for offshore drilling needs to be enhanced.

Fortunately, the proposal also must pass the Senate – where opposition to offshore drilling is stronger – before it can become law. So please contact your Senator through our action alert to ask him/ her to oppose new offshore drilling!

Expanding drilling in U.S. waters will put our coastal communities at risk from ecological and economic harm. Our nation's coasts provide billions of dollars in economic revenue through recreation, tourism, and healthy seafood. We must protect these benefits by asking our Senators to oppose the expansion of offshore drilling!

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