Ocean Protection, Ocean Energy
June 24 2012

Congress Pushes to Expand Offshore Drilling (Again)

by Pete Stauffer

The House has approved a broad Republican energy package that could open millions of acres of public lands to oil and gas development while easing environmental and safety regulations. HR 4480 "Domestic Energy and Jobs Act" - a virtual wish list of the oil & gas lobby - allows for expansion of offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and Alaska, as a condition of  sales of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

Fortunately, the proposed legislation has slim chance of becoming law as the Senate is unlikely to approve the bill. Still, the proposal is adding to the election year rhetoric around President Obama's domestic energy polices, which for offshore drilling, center on the Administration's Draft Offshore Leasing Plan for 2012-2017. The draft plan, scheduled to be finalized later this year, currently includes lease sales for the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, but protects other offshore areas including the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

The Surfrider Foundation strongly opposes HR 4480 as a bill that could dramatically expand offshore drilling and expose our coastlines to the risky practice of oil and gas development.

Now is an excellent time to contact your federal representatives to tell them you support protecting our coasts from offshore drilling!

Also, please participate in Hands Across the Sand on August 4, 2012 at a beach or park near you! HANDs is an international grassroots event that brings people together to oppose new offshore oil drilling and promote a clean energy future.

For more information on offshore drilling issues please visit Surfrider's Not the Answer page.