Statement from Grant Carlisle, E2 Director of Advocacy

WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told the Wall Street Journal the Trump administration’s plan for expanding federal offshore oil and gas leasing is on hold indefinitely, as the result of a legal ruling in a case challenging its move to open up protected areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

The following is a statement from Grant Carlisle, director of advocacy for the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs):

“The administration’s drilling plan should be scrapped permanently. Exposing coastal communities to the economic and environmental costs of offshore drilling was never worth it. This is a chance for the Trump administration to focus on expanding America’s offshore wind developments that can generate tens of thousands of new jobs and attract new investments without the risk.”

According to E2’s Offshore Wind: Generating Economic Benefits on the East Coast report from August 2018, building just a single average-sized offshore wind farm (352MW) off five Atlantic coast states would could create more than 25,000 jobs and add $3.6 billion to the states’ economies in 2022—while just a month of beach and fishing closures due to an oil spill would cost the five states’ over $2.7 billion in GDP and $1.3 billion in lost wages.

Background:

  • The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in an estimated $65 billion in damages and was responsible for nearly 7 months of fishing closures. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bp-deepwaterhorizon-idUSKBN1F50NL
  • The 1969 Santa Barbara offshore oil disaster spewed oil into the Pacific at a rate of 1,000 gallons per hour for a month, causing billions in losses along California’s beaches and fishing grounds. Four decades later, the 2015, Refugio oil spill near Santa Barbara shut down campgrounds and beaches for two months and sent tar balls as far as 100 miles south, costing nearly $100 million in cleanup alone. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-santa-barbara-oil-spill-1969-20150520-htmlstory.html
  • The 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska cost $3.8 billion to clean up and caused $300 million in economic damage to commercial fishing. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2010/04/30/7620/oil-spills-by-the-numbers/
  • There has never been a place in America where offshore drilling has occurred where there hasn’t been an oil spill.

To speak further on the proposal to expand offshore oil drilling or efforts to increase offshore wind development, please contact Michael Timberlake (mtimberlake@e2.org).

Additional Resources:

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Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.