WASHINGTON, D.C. – Advocacy organization Oceana says the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan threatens more than 2.6 million jobs and nearly $180 billion in gross domestic product for only two years’ worth of oil and just over one year’s worth of gas at current consumption rates.
The group released its economic analysis Wednesday. Using what Oceana called the latest available data for ocean-dependent jobs and revenue from fishing, tourism and recreation along the coasts of Atlantic and Pacific states, as well as Florida’s Gulf coast, the analysis compares them to the undiscovered economically recoverable oil and gas reserves in those states.
Oceana’s report is in response to the Trump administration’s new draft five-year, 2019-2024 program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf, which proposes to expand future oil and gas leasing to nearly all U.S. waters, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic and eastern Gulf of Mexico.
“From ocean views scattered with drilling platforms, to the industrialization of our coastal communities, to the unacceptable risk of more BP Deepwater Horizon-like disasters – expanding offshore drilling to new areas threatens thriving coastal economies and booming industries like tourism, recreation and fishing that rely on oil-free beaches and healthy oceans,” said Diane Hoskins, campaign director at Oceana. “Coastal communities and states are outraged by this radical plan that threatens to destroy our clean coast economies.”
Petroleum industry proponents have said the plan would lead to higher paying jobs, increased investments and additional state tax revenue.
Oceana noted that the governors of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, Oregon and Washington and more than 200 East and West Coast municipalities have formally opposed the plan. It also cites bipartisan opposition from state and federal officials, the military, commercial fishing and other business interests.
Friday is the deadline for public comments on the plan. To comment on the plan, visit www.regulations.gov, go to the search tab and type BOEM-2017-0074, click on the “comment now” box on the right, paste a letter, enter contact information, uncheck the box “I am submitting on behalf of a third party” and click “submit.”