Business Alliance For Protecting The Atlantic Coast
Coastal Business Alliances Across the Country Urge President Biden to Schedule No New Leases in Upcoming Plan for Offshore Drilling
June 21, 2022 - By: - In: BAPAC Blog - Comments Off on Coastal Business Alliances Across the Country Urge President Biden to Schedule No New Leases in Upcoming Plan for Offshore Drilling
The Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast joined the Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast, the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition, Environmental Entrepreneurs, and the Surf Industry Members Association to send a joint letter to President Biden

 

Joint Business Alliance Letter to President Biden on Upcoming Release of 5-Year Plan Proposed Program

 

Dear President Biden,

We represent thousands of coastal businesses and entrepreneurs that generate billions of dollars in 
annual economic activity throughout the country. Our members understand that offshore oil 
drilling anywhere presents significant economic risk everywhere, and we are calling on you to 
release a five-year plan for the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) that schedules no new lease
sales for oil and gas activities.

The offshore oil and gas leasing program has a direct impact on the thousands of business owners 
and hundreds of thousands of jobs that power our coastal economy. Healthy coasts are the lifeblood 
of our economy and the backbone of countless small businesses that depend on ocean tourism for 
steady revenue. Our businesses rely on a clean ocean to facilitate sustainable economic activity in 
hotels, restaurants, recreation, real estate, fishing, and so much more. In fact, America’s clean
coastal economy supports around 3.3 million American jobs and $250 billion in GDP. Activities 
such as tourism, recreation, and fishing make our communities vibrant and prosperous, but they
must be protected from toxic oil spills and increasingly dangerous climate disasters.

Year after year, the oil and gas industry tell us that they are committed to safety and preventing oil 
spill disasters, yet disasters continue to occur. The oil and gas industry has failed to protect us from 
their dangerous practices. Communities in the Gulf of Mexico are still struggling with the impacts 
of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, and Southern California shut down some of its busiest 
beaches and fisheries last year due to a toxic oil spill. The threat offshore drilling poses to our 
communities is a risk our economies cannot afford, and it is time to end this practice once and for 
all and protect our coasts.

The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster made it clear: Oil spills do not respect state boundaries. When 
the rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, hundreds of miles away from Florida’s coast, Floridians 
were told not to worry. But tar balls soon washed up on their shores, followed up by a flood of 
cancelled reservations and temporarily closed storefronts. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill cost the recreation industry more than $500 million and more than 10 million user-days of beach, 
fishing, and boating activity. Following the disaster, fisheries closed and demand for Gulf seafood 
plummeted, costing the seafood industry nearly $1 billion. And the impacts hit housing markets 
across the region as a decline in prices between 4% and 8% lasted for at least five years.

As rigs continue to expand further offshore into deeper waters, the dangers of drilling and the 
likelihood of another disaster increase. Despite this, the oil and gas industry is still pushing to 
expand its footprint. This threatens businesses up and down all coasts. When they drill, they spill, 
and coastal economies will inevitably bear the burden of resulting beach closures, economic 
shutdowns, and job losses.

We commend the administration’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis. The 
administration must now act on climate by protecting our coasts and closing the chapter on any
new oil and gas leasing. By advancing clean, renewable energy, we can support American energy 
independence and create good-paying jobs without risking our climate.

Our businesses are facing the impacts of warming oceans, rising seas, and increasingly disastrous 
weather patterns head on. In 2021 alone, the U.S. experienced 20 separate billion-dollar weather 
and climate disasters, and in total natural disasters caused $145 billion in damages last year. Quite 
simply, we cannot afford to continue drilling. Permanently protecting federal waters from drilling 
will prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions—the equivalent of taking every car 
in the nation off the road for 15 years. It would also prevent over $720 billion in damages to people, 
property, and the environment, letting our businesses prosper long into the future. Ending new 
offshore drilling will help our nation address the climate emergency while protecting coastal 
communities and millions of jobs.

The oil and gas industry has already stockpiled millions of acres of leases on public lands and 
waters. Ending all new leasing would not end offshore production on current leases, nor would it 
prevent future production on the over 8 million acres of unused leases that have already been 
approved.

As you prepare the Proposed Program for new offshore drilling leases, we urge you to uphold your 
campaign promise to end new offshore oil and gas leasing. Ending new leasing for offshore drilling 
will protect the millions of jobs that rely on a healthy ocean, and it is a vital step in tackling the 
climate crisis.

Sincerely,

Tom Kies, President
Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast

Grant Bixby, Founding Member
Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast 

Vipe Desai, Executive Director
Surf Industry Members Association

Bob Keefe, Executive Director
Environmental Entrepreneurs
Robin Miller, Chair
Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition