Brooklyn, NY — President Obama released the final version of his 2017-2022 Offshore Drilling plan today, determining whether or not new offshore oil and gas drilling will proceed in the next five years. The finalized plan stops offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans, but allows for expanded oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Cook Inlet.
State Director for Bold Louisiana Cherri Foytlin responded with the following statement:
“While we are ecstatic that the ecosystems and people of the Arctic and Atlantic have been extended this opportunity for protection against the devastating effects of offshore drilling, we are saddened to know that our region will continue to be an energy sacrifice zone for this nation’s oil addiction. The health of refinery fenceline communities will continue to decline, sea life will continue to wash ashore lifeless, and our economy will continue to be shackled to an industry who profits from the destruction that is borne upon the most fragile among us. We are disappointed, but we are not done. If this plan is finalized, President Obama has set the battlefield that Trump will be forced to charge. With all that we have, we will fight on.”
350.org Executive Director May Boeve issued the following statement in response:
“We always knew it would be a fight to end new leases in the Gulf of Mexico, and we’re not backing down now. The move away from climate disaster and toward a livable future is worth our every effort, that’s why the climate movement been rallying in the Gulf and across the country this year to push President Obama to block all new offshore drilling. People have been mobilizing at hearings, disrupting oil and gas auctions, marching through Washington, D.C. this year in the fight against fossil fuel extraction — this work must continue.”
“While it’s a major victory that the Atlantic and Arctic coasts were taken off the table in this final plan, encouraging the expansion of offshore drilling in the Gulf runs contrary to the international commitments we’ve made to curb climate change. Gulf Coast residents are already experiencing ever-worsening impacts of climate change, from rising sea levels to more extreme weather events. Allowing the fossil fuel industry to keep exploiting communities in this region while furthering the climate crisis is unacceptable.”
“The fight to prevent the worst impacts of climate change is about to get a lot harder. It’s disturbing enough that Trump wants to roll back the climate movements’ wins like Keystone and the Paris Agreement, but President Obama should be doing everything in his power to secure our future right now, not locking us into a carbon-heavy economy. For the sake of our communities and our climate, we can’t afford any new fossil fuel projects, from offshore drilling to the Dakota Access Pipeline. And we won’t allow any region, from the North Dakota to the Gulf, to be a sacrifice zone to the fossil fuel industry.”
Contact: Dani Heffernan, [email protected], +1 (305) 992-1544