The fish are jumping. The surf is up. Beach towns and national parks are humming with activity as folks from across the country enjoy the season and the escape and recreation our public lands and waters offer.
All of us prize our nation’s coastlines that support billions in local tourism and fishing economies, act as sanctuaries for wildlife, and have provided lasting beauty for generations.
More than ever before, all of that is facing an uncertain fate.
NRDC is working to keep these special places safe from encroachment by polluters who want to industrialize our coastlines for oil and gas exploration and production. But the Trump administration is proposing to put oil rigs along nearly every U.S. coastline. It’s a sweeping plan and it represents the most extreme fossil fuel assault on our nation’s public oceans—ever. The plan would auction off publicly owned ocean waters along the Atlantic, Arctic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific. It also illegally attempts to overturn protections that were put in place to permanently safeguard critical ocean areas in the Arctic and Atlantic.
Fortunately, it has run into a tidal wave of bipartisan resistance: members of Congress, most coastal governors, and citizens from every corner of the country oppose this radical plan.
The question remains whether the Trump administration will reverse course and respect this outpouring of public opposition or move forward with its reckless plan to pad oil industry profits at the public’s expense.
Congress and governors have a key role in the verdict.
Check out NRDC's new tool to see where your state delegation stands on the Trump administration’s offshore drilling agenda. Some regions—like New England—have rejected it top to bottom. Other state delegations—like those in Florida, North Carolina, and California—have had a more mixed response to Trump’s plan. Some elected officials are calling on President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke to abandon the drilling scheme entirely. Others object only to drilling along their state’s borders. Still others support the administration’s drilling plan.
Why does this matter? Offshore drilling anywhere is bad for families everywhere. It’s not enough to reject drilling locally.
Drilling brings with it catastrophic risks of oil spills and dangerous carbon pollution. That threatens all of us, whether we live in South Carolina, Montana, Alaska, New Mexico, or Louisiana. Oil doesn’t stop at state boundaries. Spills can travel more than 1,000 miles, coating beaches, ruining fisheries, and devastating local economies along the way. Likewise, the carbon pollution generated by burning oil produced offshore contributes to dangerous climate disruption. This exacerbates extreme weather events—from flooding and rising sea levels to hurricanes and heat waves—that Americans in every state are experiencing to an unprecedented extent.
We must protect all of our oceans for all Americans. If our elected officials are serious about protecting beaches, local economies, and their region’s whole way of life, they are going to have to join together—in numbers—to reject Trump’s and Zinke’s polluter profits plan.
Here are three things you can do to help protect our coasts:
- If you live on the coast, find your member of Congress and governor to see where they stand on offshore drilling. Urge them to tell U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to put our coasts and the public good before polluter profits—and reject expanded drilling everywhere.
- If you live inland, do the same. None of us—Coloradans, Nevadans, Ohioans—should have to suffer increased impacts of climate change and lose the chance to experience our nation’s still unspoiled coasts so the Trump administration can peddle more oil to giant international conglomerates.
- Attend your elected officials’ town halls and public events and demand they oppose offshore drilling—off your beach, off your state, in your region, everywhere.
Standing together, we can #protectourcoast.