The Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast joined the Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast and the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition to send a joint letter to Congress expressing support for the provisions in the Build Back Better Act that would end new offshore oil and gas leasing off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer: On behalf of more than 55,000 coastal businesses along the Pacific, Atlantic and Florida’s Gulf Coasts, we are writing to express our strong support for the provisions in the Build Back Better Act that would end new offshore oil and gas leasing off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. We are thrilled to see this language in the House bill text and urge the Senate bill to include the House provisions. As job creators, we understand that a robust and productive coastal economy is dependent on a clean and healthy ocean. Simply put, the threats posed by new offshore drilling are business threats. Prohibiting new offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in these areas will protect coastal communities and millions of jobs that rely on clean coasts while also helping our nation address the climate emergency. The Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast (BAPPC), the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC) and the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition (FGCBC) serve as the leading business voices opposing the expansion of oil and gas development off our coasts. The health of our economy depends on clean coastal waters and beaches, as well as a stable climate. Offshore drilling threatens our climate. A recent analysis found that permanent offshore drilling protections for all unleased federal waters 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. Protecting the Pacific, Atlantic and Eastern Gulf would make a huge contribution toward avoiding these emissions. The disastrous environmental and economic impacts of offshore oil drilling were recently on full display when a pipeline off the coast of Southern California spewed toxic oil into the Pacific Ocean and onto nearby beaches, wreaking havoc on the region as predicted. Each spill inevitably begins with a lease sale and we must stop repeating the mistakes of our past. In 2019, the bipartisan nature of opposition to offshore drilling was best on display through the House’s passage of a permanent protections from offshore drilling in H.R. 1941 and H.R. 205. There is broad support across the political spectrum for protecting U.S. coasts from oil and gas drilling. More than 390 coastal municipalities have formally opposed drilling off their coast, as well as every East and West Coast governor and more than 2,000 locally elected officials. Now this Congress must finally enact a permanent ban on new oil and gas leasing. Budget reconciliation is our only chance to enact a permanent Congressional ban on new offshore drilling for most areas of the ocean. We strongly support the provision contained within the House’s reconciliation bill and we urge the Senate to ensure this provision becomes law. BAPPC, BAPAC and the FGCBC look forward to working with Congress to protect our coastal environment and strengthen our coastal economies. Sincerely, Tom Kies, President Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast Grant Bixby, Founding Member Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast Robin Miller, Chair Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition