Thank you for reading this first blog of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC), 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.
The support BAPAC has received since our organizational meeting in North Myrtle Beach last September has been truly phenomenal. Signatures on our petitions represent over 35,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families. It is clear that the Atlantic Coast business community is dead set against exploring and drilling for offshore oil and gas.
That message was heard loud and clear by the Obama Administration and led to the Department of Interior’ January denial of all seismic testing permits. These permits were still being considered even after offshore drilling had been removed from the 5-year plan in March of 2016 due to the opposition from many interests including the founders of BAPAC.
However, with a new Administration and Congress the need for the business voice to protect the Atlantic Coast is even greater. Here’s why:
- The Trump Administration could initiate a new 5-year planning process for 2018-2023 and once again consider including offshore drilling in the Atlantic.
- Congress could pass a law mandating that the Atlantic be available for drilling.
- Seismic testing companies could refile petitions with the Department of Interior to conduct sonic airgun blasting exploration for oil and gas.
These possibilities mean one thing. Our Atlantic Coast’s vibrant tourism, recreation and commercial fishing economies are still at risk from marine life-killing seismic testing and oil fouling our pristine beaches and coast that inevitably comes with offshore wells.
BAPAC must grow even stronger and louder.
All our policymakers must hear our message over and over. Oil/gas exploration and drilling is incompatible with our treasured Atlantic Coast economies. It is the most important decision that will ever be made about the future of our ocean and way of life. Once the decision to test and drill is made, there is no going back…ever.
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Thank you for your support.
Frank Knapp Jr.