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Pallone Applauds President Biden’s Executive Order Pausing Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing

April 8, 2021
Press Release
In a letter to Biden, Pallone leads call for permanent ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling.

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today led a letter to President Joe Biden, applauding the Executive Order that pauses new leasing for offshore oil and gas drilling on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Representatives Salud Carbajal, Jared Huffman, Alan Lowenthal, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donald McEachin also led the letter which was signed by 47 additional Members of Congress. The lawmakers lauded the pause as an important first step toward preventing billions of dollars in damage from climate change and oil spill disasters.

“As you know, our coastal communities depend upon healthy ocean ecosystems. Accordingly, protection of the roughly 3.3 million American jobs and $250 billion in GDP through activities such as fishing, recreation, and tourism is vital. Dirty and dangerous offshore drilling and its increased emissions are fueling the climate crisis and threaten already vulnerable frontline communities and wildlife,” the lawmakers wrote. “Protecting all unleased areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf is critical to avoiding even worse impacts of climate change. Permanently protecting these regions would prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and more than $720 billion in damage to people, property, and the environment. Simply put, we cannot afford more drilling and unchecked climate pollution. By taking this step and investing in clean energy, we can advance ambitious and durable climate action that protects coastal economies, creates jobs, and benefits all Americans.”

Pallone has been a longtime advocate of an offshore drilling ban. In the early days of the Biden Administration, Pallone called for a permanent offshore drilling ban as the world transitions to a clean energy economy. In January 2019, he introduced the COAST Anti-Drilling Act that would ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic. In April 2019, he wrote to Secretary David Bernhardt at the Department of Interior in the Trump Administration to ask him to permanently abandon plans to conduct offshore oil and gas exploration.

A copy of the letter is available here.