On January 4, the Department of the Interior released an offshore drilling plan that will significantly expand oil and gas leasing in coastal waters, including in highly sensitive ecosystems and previously protected marine habitats.
The expansion of oil and gas leasing in sensitive marine areas off the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Coasts threatens vital bird habitat as well as the economic viability of hundreds of coastal communities. In the Arctic, there is no feasible method for cleaning up an oil spill, which would put countless birds at serious risk, such as Spectacled Eiders and Yellow-billed Loons. Atlantic seabirds and shorebirds that would be especially at-risk from offshore oil and gas development include Red Knots, Piping Plovers, and American Oystercatchers. And in the Pacific Ocean, birds such as the Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern would be in heightened danger from expanded drilling.
Additionally, the plan would put coastal communities in jeopardy, most of which depend on their coasts for tourism and economic activity. Coasts provide hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic impacts, which is why many local governments, elected officials, and businesses strongly oppose opening up new offshore areas to drilling.
The five-year proposal is subject to a 60-day public comment period. You can send comments to oppose such a dangerous and unnecessary expansion of offshore drilling through our Action Center.