The Solution

Offshore drilling hurts frontline and coastal communities who already bear the brunt of climate change burdens, with the continued inevitability of spills, harms to public health, and disastrous effects for the tourism and fishing industries on which so many of these communities rely.

 

The refineries that must accompany offshore drilling release particulate pollution that exacerbates asthma and has been linked to lung cancer, and refinery malfunctions lead to acute air pollution episodes. Ensuring there is no new drilling in the Five-Year Plan is a matter of environmental justice.

Our nation will not be able to meet the clear and necessary climate goals that President Biden and his Administration has compellingly articulated, nor will we be able to do our part in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, if we continue new offshore leasing.

Offshore lease sales have long-term consequences by locking in production for decades and resulting in hundreds of millions of metric tons of CO2 emissions. The most recent IPCC report is clear: what we do, or fail to do, with such far-reaching decisions could determine whether we face a livable or catastrophic climate in the decades ahead.

No New Leases

Download The Case Against New Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf.

The U.S. does not need new offshore leasing to meet its national energy needs, because of the substantial reserves under lease. Additionally, an end to new leasing would not meaningfully affect production levels for almost a decade. Over that time, efficiency policies being implemented at the federal and state levels–even just the policies currently mandated– would more than make up for the lost offshore oil production.

Additionally, taxpayers end up supporting elevated profits for oil and gas companies by subsidizing the fossil fuel industry – meaning that taxpayer dollars are funding the pollution that devastates our climate and the health of our environment and our communities.


These fossil fuel subsidies are propping up an industry linked to an estimated 350,000 deaths each year due to particulate pollution, and trillions in damage each year due to climate change in the United States; burdens that are disproportionately borne by Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.

The Secretary of the Interior should propose no new leasing in the upcoming five-year program for offshore oil and gas leasing. To meet our climate commitments, the United States must significantly reduce its current level of fossil fuel exploitation and not develop fossil fuels reserves in new areas. The Secretary of the Interior must use her discretion to propose a step in the right direction: no new offshore leasing.

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