Offshore drilling threatens both the climate and the economy

Heron at Anna Maria beach

State-Level analysis from nonprofit Oceana details climate and economic benefits of banning offshore drilling protections.

The new state-based analyses for East and West Coast states details the economic benefits of banning new offshore drilling. The analysis looks at data for ocean-dependent jobs and revenue from fishing, tourism, and recreation along the coasts of Atlantic and Pacific states, as well as Florida’s Gulf coast.

These analyses come at a time when the Biden-Harris administration is preparing to release its interim report on the federal oil and gas leasing program. Environmental advocates believe the administration must result in an end to new leasing for offshore drilling. On Monday, the House Committee on Natural Resources proposed a legislative measure that would permanently protect the Atlantic, Pacific, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico from future offshore drilling.

Oceana released the following statement from Climate and Energy campaign director Diane Hoskins:

“We must stop looking for new fossil fuels in the ocean if we are going to protect our coastal economies and combat climate change. This new state-level analysis offers the clearest picture yet of the economic dangers associated with expanded offshore drilling. Permanent protections will safeguard states’ tourism, recreation, and fishing industries and prevent climate pollution that is incompatible with addressing the climate crisis.

President Biden has taken bold, swift action on climate, which stands in stark contrast to the denial of climate change and the attacks our oceans and coasts faced during the previous administration. Now, President Biden and Congress must go further to ensure our coasts are permanently protected from new offshore drilling.”

Offshore drilling threatens over 1.6 million jobs and about $127 billion in GDP along the East Coast for only seven month’s-worth of oil and six month’s-worth of gas.​

They found that ending new leasing for offshore oil and gas in the United States could prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions as well as more than $720 billion in damages to people, property, and the environment nationally. Additionally, the analysis found that ending new leasing will safeguard the U.S. clean coast economy, which collectively supports around 3.3 million American jobs and $250 billion in GDP through activities like tourism, recreation, and fishing.

As of today, opposition and concern over offshore drilling activities includes:

  • Every East and West Coast governor, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, California, Oregon, and Washington
  • More than 390 local municipalities
  • Over 2,300 local, state, and federal bipartisan officials
  • East and West Coast alliances representing over 56,000 businesses
  • Pacific, New England, South Atlantic, and Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils
  • More than 120  scientists
  • More than 80 former military leaders
  • Commercial and recreational fishing interests such as Southeastern Fisheries Association, Snook and Gamefish Foundation, Fisheries Survival Fund, Billfish Foundation, and International Game Fish Association
  • California Coastal Commission, California Fish and Game Commission, and California State Lands Commission
  • Department of Defense, NASA, U.S. Air Force, and Florida Defense Support Task Force

You can click this link to send a message to the White House about banning new offshore drilling leases.


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