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house Bill H.R. 1941

Should Offshore Drilling be Prohibited in the Atlantic & Pacific Outer Continental Shelves?

Argument in favor

Offshore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) carries many environmental risks and is broadly opposed by both the public and the governors of affected states. By banning offshore drilling in the Pacific OCS and Atlantic OCS, this bill would ensure that public opinion and concerns are respected in policymaking with regard to the OCS.

jimK's Opinion
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09/10/2019
Let’s not start something we will have to stop as soon as we get a government that is not pretending that climate change is a hoax.
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Deepstate's Opinion
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09/08/2019
Absolutely no drilling in our oceans, full stop!
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Martha's Opinion
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09/10/2019
We need to stop supporting fossil fuel production and direct all of our resources into the development of renewable, environmentally safe, energy sources. New products are being developed and they continue to improve. Soon the wind turbines as we know them will be obsolete as solar panels of yesteryear are obsolete. Our ability to technologically advance increases exponentially. It is only the uneducated that are stuck in the past dreaming of what was in the "good old days." Stay on top of technology. You will be amazed.
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Argument opposed

Drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is an important revenue source for both federal and state budgets. Thanks to technological advancements, it can now be done safely and with minimal environmental impacts. Banning offshore drilling in the Pacific OCS and Atlantic OCS would endanger the United States’ economy and energy future.

Gopin2020's Opinion
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09/10/2019
We must be energy independent, Keep America Great and Strong #MAGA 2020
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ManfromNebraska's Opinion
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09/11/2019
Energy independence is necessary to protect our country. As long as they are doing their jobs correctly it helps us. We should use our own oil and let opec and other nations collapse.
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ProudAmerican's Opinion
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09/11/2019
This is a perfect example of how out of touch the Democrat Party is with everyday Americans; not to mention how radical it has become. I don’t know about you, but my lower middle class family is thoroughly enjoying the low gas and energy prices caused by our newfound energy independence.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • The house Passed September 11th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 238 Yea / 189 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Natural Resources
      Energy and Mineral Resources
    IntroducedMarch 28th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 1941?

This bill — the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act — would prohibit the Dept. of the Interior from offering any tract for oil and gas leasing or preleasing in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) planning area or the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf planning area (OCS). 

The Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf planning area includes the North Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, and the Straits of Florida. The Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Planning area includes the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf planning area (Washington/Oregon, Northern California, Central California, and Southern California).

Impact

Offshore drilling; Pacific OCS; Atlantic OCS; Outer Continental Shelf (OCS); and Dept. of the Interior (DOI).

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1941

$50.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $50 million over the 2019-2024 period and $200 million over the 2019-2029 period. These costs would primarily related to reduced collection of offsetting receipts from offshore oil and gas leases and reduced spending on administrative expenses related to leasing activities in the Atlantic and Pacific regions of the Outer Continential Shelf.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC) introduced this bill to permanently ban oil and gas leasing off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts

“I’ve been clear from the very beginning that our beaches, businesses, and way of life should not be for sale. South Carolinians want nothing to do with offshore drilling and the devastating threat it poses to our vibrant natural resources. I am proud to have the support of a bipartisan group of lawmakers, advocates, and organizations up and down South Carolina and across both the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead this bipartisan bill across the finish line to ban offshore drilling off our coast once and for all.”

After the House Committee on Natural Resources passed this bill, Rep. Cunningham said

“South Carolinians have made it abundantly clear they want nothing to do with offshore drilling and the devastating threat it poses to our vibrant natural resources and coastal economies. Folks on both sides of the aisle are united in opposition to offshore drilling, and it’s critical we get this done for them. Our beaches, our economy, and our way of life are not for sale and today’s passage through Committee is an important step towards ensuring that never changes.

Original cosponsor Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) adds

“The Administration is trying to further oil and gas interests at an alarming rate, including major expansions of offshore drilling in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This is nothing more than a hand-out to the oil and gas industries and runs counter to health, safety, and environmental safeguards we know must be in place to protect our coastlines. These actions also run counter to the will of the citizens in these coastal communities. I am proud to join with my colleagues in making it perfectly clear to this Administration – there will be no new drilling off our coasts.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council supports this bill. Its Legislative Director, Alexandra Adams, says

“This smart measure responds to communities and leaders all along our Atlantic and Pacific coasts who strongly oppose offshore drilling.  It would protect those coastal waters and wildlife from the risks of another BP-style disaster, as well as industrial ruin and ongoing harm. This bill deserves the support of everyone who cares about healthy oceans, marine life, our coastal economies and all they support.”

Paul Driessen, senior policy advisor for the global warming denialist group Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), argues that offshore oil and gas drilling isn’t any worse than (and indeed preferable to certain) other industries in terms of environmental impact: 

“Fishing, shrimping, tourism and military ops continue to thrive in the Gulf, among hundreds of rigs. And yet some say they don’t even want to see a few dozen oil platforms three to twenty miles off Atlantic coast beaches. How do they feel about hundreds or thousands of 400-foot wind turbines a thousand feet to three miles offshore? That is what’s being discussed to replace fossil fuels and nuclear in electricity generation. Those huge turbines would chop up seabirds that will sink out of sight and mind; create obstacle courses for pleasure, military and commercial shipping; and  emit constant low level noise that will interfere with aircraft as well as whale and porpoise sonar navigation and communication.”

Noting OCS operations’ importance to the federal budget, Driessen also contends that offshore drilling revenues are needed to boost federal and state budgets as well as American communities: 

“After taxes, OCS operations provide the second largest source of revenue to the US Treasury. Some of this goes to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for environmental programs. However, OCS revenues fell from $18 billion in 2008 to $2.5 billion in 2016 – even as state offshore oil and gas revenues actually rose during the same period. This decline was partly because of lower oil and gas prices, but largely because the Obama Administration issued so many regulations and delays, but so few leases and permits. Gulf Coast states also share in OCS revenues, totaling billions of dollars over the years. Atlantic Coast States should enjoy revenue sharing, if leasing, drilling and production take place off their shores… OCS oil and gas are essential for America’s long-term energy security. They will support economic growth, investment and manufacturing, create thousands of new jobs, and ensure reliable, affordable energy for manufacturers, businesses, hospitals, tourism, farming, and poor, minority and blue-collar families.”

This legislation passed the House Committee on Natural Resources by a 22-12 roll call vote with the support of 51 bipartisan cosponsors, including 50 Democrats and one Republican. Rep. Cunningham expects this bill to pass the House, but believes it’ll be more challenging to garner Senate support.

Oceana, Conservation Voters of South Carolina, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), and the Natural Resources Defense Council support this bill.


Of Note: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is the portion of the ocean seabed that’s under federal jurisdiction. It generally runs from 3 to 200 miles out from the coastline. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in the Dept. of the Interior (DOI) is responsible for oil and gas leasing on the OCS through a program called the National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program (also known as the Five-Year Program).

From 1982-2008, Congress used annual appropriations bills to prevent agency spending on oil and gas leasing in various portions of the OCS. In Summer 2008, President George W. Bush announced that he would veto any appropriations bill containing an OCS moratorium. This ended the policy rider containing an OCS moratorium and the decades-long Congressional ban for much of the OCS. Now, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico is the only OCS area statutorily withdrawn from oil and gas leasing consideration.

Two Trump administration orders -- an April 2017 executive order (Executive Order 13795 on April 28, 2017) from President Trump and a secretarial order (Secretarial Order 3350 on May 1, 2017) from then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke -- have opened the possibility of offshore drilling in much of the OCS. Together, the two orders directed BOEM to initiate the planning process for a new Five-Year Program to replace the 2017-2022 Program finalized in January 2017. 

The new plan — which proposed the opening of  more than 90% of the OCS, including the entirety of the U.S. Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic coasts, to oil and gas leasing — was published on January 4, 2018. It also proposed opening the entire Eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas leasing once the existing moratorium ends in 2022. 

As of now, the plan remains a draft and hasn’t been finalized. Both Republican and Democratic governors along the Eastern Seaboard have expressed opposition to it. 

The OCS is estimated to contain a vast amount of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas. In a 2011 report, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) estimated that there are approximately 23.6 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil and about 104.4 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas combined (these are both in the Alaska OCS region).


Media:

AKA

Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act

Official Title

To amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit the Secretary of the Interior including in any leasing program certain planning areas, and for other purposes.

    Let’s not start something we will have to stop as soon as we get a government that is not pretending that climate change is a hoax.
    Like (130)
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    We must be energy independent, Keep America Great and Strong #MAGA 2020
    Like (32)
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    Absolutely no drilling in our oceans, full stop!
    Like (92)
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    We need to stop supporting fossil fuel production and direct all of our resources into the development of renewable, environmentally safe, energy sources. New products are being developed and they continue to improve. Soon the wind turbines as we know them will be obsolete as solar panels of yesteryear are obsolete. Our ability to technologically advance increases exponentially. It is only the uneducated that are stuck in the past dreaming of what was in the "good old days." Stay on top of technology. You will be amazed.
    Like (80)
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    We should be moving away from fossil fuels and fools.
    Like (34)
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    YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! IT SHOULD BE PROHIBITED!🤬 THIS IS A HORRIBLE HORRIBLE THING WE DO AS A HUMAN RACE! WE ARE KILLING LIFE AS WE ARE DOING THIS AND WE DON'T NEED TO DO IT! We have a brain and we have many many people who use it. And they have better ways to get our needed energy rather than pouring chemicals and just outright polluting the beautiful Oceans & Life of Our Earth! We seek out other planets in the 'habitable zone' of their sun, spending billions to do... so we can see if life there is a possibility of Life and if it exists there. And yet we have ALL of these beautiful Earthlings(creatures as we call them) here amongst us and we just shit on them and say, "Oh, they're just animals," or fish or this or that!😱 WHY?😢 When life is Soo very abundant amongst us, and we treat it like we do...😢 WE DO NOT DESERVE THE RIGHT TO DUMP OUR LACK OF RESPECT, LACK OF WILL & OUR LACK OF IMPLEMENTING OUR KNOWN KNOWLEDGE & TECHNOLOGY INTO ANOTHER BEINGS LIFE! WE ARE LACKING AND THE PASSING OF THIS BILL WILL PROVE OUR GREED OVER LIFE IS ABUNDANT AMONGST US. BEING FOR LIFE SURE BEATS THE ALTERNATIVE🤓 ENOUGH SAID🤬
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    Let’s try to salvage the planet while we can
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    There are already oil spills that never have been fixed we don’t need more
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    Please stop the drilling!
    Like (16)
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    We can achieve energy independence without fossil fuels. In fact, energy security is far more achievable with the non-point source generation of renewable energy than it is with fossil fuels.
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    Absolutely. We need offshore wind but no offshore drilling for those old-school fossil fuels.
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    this is a matter of survival, i think you all know the consequences if you approve of any drilling. for us humans to be deemed the most educated & god gifted beings on the planet, we sure as hell do not act in that manner. think of all of the life on this planet, if we as citizens are entrusting with you the power to engage in such decision making that it effects the entirety of mankind; i’d expect the decision to be on the side of the people. not the rich. this a democracy, no?
    Like (15)
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    Our coast lines should all be protected from the pollution caused by offshore drilling. Please vote to prohibit drilling for oil and gas off our beautiful coastline.
    Like (14)
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    We need to get off fossil fuel‘s
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    I do not support drilling in these pristine waters. Move to solar and wind power before the planet is dead.
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    We are going backwards under this sham clan. NO drilling!
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    Don’t sacrifice fisheries for the last decade of a dying petroleum industry. Green energy is coming, invest there, not in reactionary fossil fuels projects the world can no longer afford.
    Like (12)
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    Energy independence is necessary to protect our country. As long as they are doing their jobs correctly it helps us. We should use our own oil and let opec and other nations collapse.
    Like (12)
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    Our future depends on a move away from fossil fuels.
    Like (11)
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    This is a perfect example of how out of touch the Democrat Party is with everyday Americans; not to mention how radical it has become. I don’t know about you, but my lower middle class family is thoroughly enjoying the low gas and energy prices caused by our newfound energy independence.
    Like (11)
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