Dear Mr. President:
We the undersigned Members of Congress write to thank you and the Department of the Interior (DOI) for removing the Atlantic Ocean lease sale from the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Proposed Program.
On behalf of our constituents and all those opposed to offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, we thank you for recognizing that offshore drilling along the East Coast is an unnecessary risk to our coastal economies and incompatible with important existing coastal activities, and we hope that the DOI will take the necessary steps to prevent any offshore drilling in these regions in the future. Nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in gross domestic product are generated by healthy ocean ecosystems from tourism, fisheries, and coastal recreation. Additionally, Atlantic drilling could potentially impede ongoing military and space exploration activities along the coast. Your Administration listened to more than 110 East Coast municipalities, as well as to the concerns of more than 850 federal, state, and local elected officials and 1,100 business interests that have publically opposed offshore development.
Our nation has seen the devastation that comes from offshore drilling. From the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, to the chronic leaks happening on a daily basis from wells and infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico, to failed infrastructure like that which caused the Santa Barbara disaster, oil spills do not respect state boundaries and pose grave risks to coastal communities and marine life.
We appreciate the Administration's willingness to listen to our constituents and protect the healthy oceans that are our economic drivers and crucial to our coastal ways of life.
Donald S. Beyer Jr. Frank Pallone, Jr.
Alan Lowenthal Gerald E. Connolly
Henry C. "Hank" Johnson Ted Deutch
Jim Langevin Eleanor Holmes Norton
Katherine Clark Raúl M. Grijalva
Corrine Brown Donald Norcross
Donna F. Edwards Chris Van Hollen
G. K. Butterfield Lois Frankel
Sam Farr Alan Grayson
Alcee L. Hastings Bonnie Watson Coleman
Patrick E. Murphy John Carney
Seth Moulton Paul D. Tonko
Matt Cartwright Jared Huffman
Kathy Castor Maxine Waters
Barbara Lee Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Mark Pocan Jan Schakowsky
Mike Quigley Niki Tsongas
Scott Peters Robert C. "Bobby" Scott
James P. McGovern Lois Capps
John Sarbanes C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Chaka Fattah David E. Price
William R. Keating John Delaney
Albio Sires John B. Larson
Elijah E. Cummings Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Alma S. Adams Earl Blumenauer