2022 oil drilling lease fiasco


The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) are proposing to lease submerged land off the coast of Alaska and up to 10 new leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Written comments will be accepted until October 6th.

The 5-year offshore oil leasing program will result in the leasing of far too much submerged land in the Gulf of Mexico for exploration.

The current oil and gas concession program has not provided the best means of minimizing environmental damage and thwarting the oil industry’s tendency to lease more land than can be safely explored and developed. .

Industry oil and gas estimates are so imprecise they are almost meaningless. To depend solely on the oil industry to provide information on the safety and environmental impacts of their operations is to rely on the same irresponsible premise that the oil industry will fully identify the quantities and values ​​of mineral resources within the framework of its drilling contracts.

BOEM will never be able to properly assess the costs and risks of offshore drilling without accurate information being provided by the oil companies. As a result, BOEM cannot adequately monitor and control environmental degradation resulting from offshore leasing activities.

ManaSota-88 supports a permanent ban on offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf off Florida. It is not necessary to rush to develop non-renewable natural resources, it is appropriate to use fuels that are less harmful to the environment.

Environmental concerns regarding the BOEM concession program center on oil spills, long-term impacts resulting from routine releases associated with oil drilling activities, and impacts on land. The ability of the oil industry and the federal government to respond to a major oil spill is questionable, to say the least.

Existing federal regulations do not address the significant damage that oil drilling has on the environment. We find no reason to believe that the proposed leasing program will protect Florida’s economy and environment from the potentially severe environmental damage associated with offshore oil drilling.

Oil drilling will endanger the eastern Gulf of Mexico, an area of ​​high environmental sensitivity and marine productivity. Currently, the area is home to many species of wildlife, important commercial and recreational fisheries, and several endangered animal species.

The fact is that oil reaching wetlands and estuaries near the Gulf Coast will make these areas uninhabitable for plants and animals. The oil will linger for years, destroying the eggs and larvae of marine organisms, harming waterfowl, and completely destroying or disrupting food chains. Marine life will be affected in a myriad of poorly understood ways, smothering seabed dwellers and subtly altering marine and coastal ecosystems.

A significant environmental impact, even from a minor oil spill of 100 barrels or less, can cause significant damage. If the oil hits the Gulf Coast, it will make many areas uninhabitable for plants and animals. Petroleum hydrocarbons are extremely toxic even at very low concentrations.

Oil and gas drilling is a polluting industry from cradle to grave, from exploration to drilling and processing to air pollution caused by combustion. The question shouldn’t be whether to expand offshore drilling, but how quickly America can transition to renewable, non-polluting alternative energy resources. The way to move away from oil dependence is through increased energy efficiency and conservation, not through the expansion of offshore oil drilling.

There is no evidence that mitigation measures exist to reduce the significant adverse environmental impacts associated with offshore oil drilling. Until the technology exists to prevent further economic and environmental damage, extensive drilling should not be allowed in the Gulf of Mexico

Comments may also be sent by post or delivery service. Envelopes should be labeled “Comments for Proposed National Oil and Gas Leasing Program OCS 2023-2028”. and sent to Ms. Kelly Hammerle, Chief, National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program Development and Coordination Branch Leasing Division, Office of Strategic Resources, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (VAM-LD), 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166-9216.

To find out how to submit them online,

Glenn Compton is the president of ManaSota 88, a non-profit organization that has fought for more than 30 years to protect the environment of Manatee and Sarasota counties.

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