Coastal Business Alliances Respond to Biden Executive Action in Joint Statement, January 28, 2021
Offshore Leasing Pause Vital to Protecting Coastal Economy
As leaders of coalitions representing over 50,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States, we applaud the Biden-Harris administration for taking bold action to protect our coasts including the waters where we recreate, the wildlife that we treasure and the future of our climate. Pausing the sale of our publicly owned waters to oil and gas companies is a great first step forward. It’s clear that the Biden-Harris Administration is charting a new path forward so that our public ocean and coastal resources work for the people and local communities, not just polluters.
As business coalitions that represent a diverse cross section of interests, we are enthusiastically optimistic with the new administration’s direction and with their willingness to not only listen but take decisive action. This is the first of many steps in preserving the fragile ecosystems of our country’s coasts and working with the businesses that serve those coastal communities.
Offshore drilling threatens the healthy oceans and clean beaches our coastal economies rely on, and the resulting emissions pose yet another existential threat to our communities. It is time to end this practice once and for all. Through activities like tourism, recreation and fishing, our nation’s clean coast economy powers 3.3 million jobs and $250 billion in GDP. This entire economy is threatened by the devastation of an oil spill and the specter of climate change.
We are encouraged that the new administration is listening to coastal voices and taking action to protect our coastal economy. These protections enjoy bipartisan and overwhelming support along our coasts, and we look forward to further climate policies from the administration and from Congress, including action on President Biden’s commitment to permanently end all new offshore oil and gas leasing.
Protecting our coastal communities from dirty and dangerous offshore drilling is a vital policy step. But as we face four overlapping and compounding crises – the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis – the Biden-Harris administration is rightfully focused on sweeping policies to address these related crises by investing in a transition to a clean energy economy, striving for environmental justice and cutting the pollution that is driving climate change.
The coastal business coalitions look forward to working with President Biden to protect our coasts and strengthen our coastal economies. By permanently ending offshore drilling and investing in clean renewable offshore energy, we can advance ambitious and durable climate action that protects coastal economies, creates jobs, and benefits everyone.
Tom Kies, President of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast
Grant Bixby, Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast
Rob Farrow, Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast
The Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC) is the leading business organization working to ensure the long term health and economic vitality of the Atlantic seaboard through responsible stewardship of the coastal and ocean waters. Visit www.protectingtheatlanticcoast.org to learn more.