Many have asked what is the most important action they can take in the fight against the Trump Administration’s proposal to open 90% of the Outer Continental Shelf to Offshore Oil Drilling. Right now, the answer is submit public comment to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

Unsure of how to do that or what to say? We’ve got you covered!

Comments are due March 9, 2018

How to Submit Comments

Comments can be submitted online, via mail, or in person at a public meeting.

Mailed in an envelope labeled “Comments for the 2019-2024 Draft Proposed National Oil and Gas Leasing Program” and mailed (or hand delivered) to Ms. Kelly Hammerle, Chief, National 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, telephone (703) 787-1613.

Comment Suggestions

Surfrider has developed a draft sign on letter you can make your own. Here’s an idea for how to frame your letter:

  1. Start with who you are (coastal resident, ocean user, business owner, etc.) and where you live.
  2. Explain why a healthy coastal ecosystem is important to you (and your business, if applicable).
  3. Describe how would an oil spill impact you and/or your business?
  4. Explain your biggest 1-3 concerns with offshore oil drilling.
  5. Explain your preferred alternative(s) to offshore oil drilling.

Here’s some example text you can use in your letter:

  1. The West Coast’s $56B ocean economy supports 500,000 jobs in hotels, restaurants, gas stations, tackle shops, charter boats, etc.
  2. Fishing, tourism and recreation in Oregon generate $2.5B per year.
  3. The Pacific Ocean has been off limits to new oil leases for 35 years, through both Democratic and Republican administrations, including a moratorium issued by George H.W. Bush.
  4. The Pacific Coast is home to some of the country’s most popular beaches, thriving coastal economies, and rich ecosystems.
  5. Opening the Pacific Ocean to drilling would threaten West Coast communities and economies, and this attempt to do so will be met with fierce opposition.
  6. The expansion of offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific, Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and Arctic Ocean would cause enormous and unnecessary negative impacts to our nation’s marine ecosystems, coastal communities, and vital recreation and tourism industries.
  7. Offshore oil and gas development in new areas would require seismic surveys, drilling operations, oil transport by tankers, and the installation of platforms, pipelines, and other infrastructure. Collectively these activities would significantly damage the environment, marine wildlife, and coastal economies and ways of life.
  8. Industries that rely upon a healthy marine ecosystem, including tourism and recreation, generate billions of dollars for coastal states and the nation as a whole. Coastal recreation and tourism accounts for 83 percent of establishments and 71 percent of employment opportunities for coastal communities in the United States.
  9. A spill could cause catastrophic impacts to these coastal communities, a truth we should have learned from previous spills in other areas that have had long-lasting impacts on local tourism rates, with major disasters resulting in 25 percent of small businesses unable to re-open.

What else can you do?