Date: May 25, 2017
From: Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC)
Subject: Trump Budget Undercuts Arguments for Atlantic Coast Offshore Drilling
Contact: Frank Knapp, President/CEO of BAPAC, 803-497-3204 (w), 803-600-6874 (c), email@example.com
Columbia, SC—President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 budget released this week undercuts two critical arguments made by proponents of offshore drilling for oil and gas in the Atlantic according to the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC). The eight-month old BAPAC, the premier business organization opposing Atlantic Coast offshore exploration and drilling for oil and gas, has the support of over 41,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families.
First, the Trump budget proposes to raise federal revenue by selling off half of the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve which was created in 1975 in a national energy security effort.
In defending the proposed oil sell-off from the Reserve Mick Mulvaney, OMB director for the President, pointed out that domestic oil production is up and the U.S. is importing less oil.
“We think it’s the responsible thing to do.” Mr. Mulvaney told the press. “I don’t need to take this much of your money to bury it in the ground out in West Texas someplace for domestic security and national security reasons when we have domestic supplies like we do.”
“Energy security is a top response we hear from members of Congress and others when they are asked to explain their support for drilling for oil off the Atlantic Coast,” said Frank Knapp Jr., President and CEO of BAPAC. “When the proponents can’t justify drilling as a jobs program for local economies because there is near unanimous coastal government opposition to such oil industrialization, then they always point to the greater good of energy security for the nation. Now that argument is being rejected by the Trump Administration.”
Second, the proposed budget would also end existing revenue sharing with Gulf of Mexico states. Half of the royalties the U.S. receives from oil companies permitted to drill in the Gulf now goes to these states.
“There are some elected officials along the Atlantic Coast who are willing to risk destroying their tourism, recreation and commercial fishing economies for a little bit of new revenue for roads and education,” said Knapp. “Now with the Trump Administration wanting to end this revenue sharing in the Gulf, we can put an end to this flirtation with bribe money along the Atlantic.”
“If we have excessive oil reserves that can be sold without jeopardizing our needs within the United States, then there is no reason to endanger the Atlantic Coast with speculative seismic testing and oil drilling. The justifications for this reserve sell-off by Mr. Mulvaney nullify reasoning set forth by Big Oil to put our eastern coastline at risk.” Vicki Clark, BAPAC Chair and President/CEO of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce.
“These policy positons by the Trump Administration clearly show that offshore drilling for oil in the Atlantic is an ill-conceived plan. It’s bad for business locally, nationally and globally.” Laura Wood Habr, BAPAC Board of Directors, Vice President of Virginia Beach Restaurant Association and Co-owner of Crocs 19th St. Bistro in Virginia Beach.
“Cutting royalty payments for states that are home to oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is another sign that no financial benefit from offshore drilling is permanent. However, the oil leaks and spills will harm our coastal economies forever.” Sandra Bundy, BAPAC Board of Directors and owner of B&P Inc. in Murrells Inlet.
“The recreational fishing industry and recreational fishermen have always been suspicious of any discussion that exploration and drilling for oil in the Atlantic Ocean is necessary for national energy security. The Trump Administration has now confirmed this suspicion. As an industry and as sportsmen, we will not let our sport or natural resources be harmed for an officially rejected justification.” Tim O’Brien, BAPAC Board of Directors and owner of Tycoon Tackle in Charlottesville.