Flash Action: Federal Govt Collecting Comments on Offshore Drilling Plan

In-Situ burning of oil

Not great for tourism (Deepwater Horizon/NOAA)

Offshore drilling may be open for business. But first, the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is collecting public comments as part of the requirements prior to opening American coastlines for oil leases. You can leave a comment until March 9th. Public comments are supposed to be integrated to the process going forward. Taking a few minutes to leave a comment can have the following outcomes:

  1. Affect how the administration goes about planning to open coasts to offshore drilling
  2. If the DOI acts in a way contrary to the vast majority of comments, then court challenges will rely on your comments for evidence
  3. Raise awareness of public opinion of offshore drilling which can provide fodder for media stories

You can take action today by commenting. Include as much information as you can answering the reasons for your stance, whether it’s environmental, tourism, ties to local businesses, etc.

From Regulations.gov on who can comment:

“Public Comment: All interested parties, including Federal, state, tribal, and local governments and others, can submit written comments on the DPP and the scope of the Programmatic EIS, significant issues that should be addressed, and the types of oil and gas activities of interest in OCS planning areas included in the DPP (e.g., gas in shallow water and industry interest in leasing and/or exploring planning areas not included in previous National OCS Programs). Comments on individual lease sale EIS documents should be submitted separately through the unique docket for each sale. Comments that provide scientific information, geospatial or other data, or anecdotal evidence to support your input are most useful and such information can be provided as attachments to comments.”

Translation: You can comment. If you have hard data or a direct personal stake (ex: You work for a coastal business) in how offshore drilling unfolds, make sure you mention that.

To see how liberal and conservative states are battling the administration on this issue, check out our profiles of California and South Carolina.

Here is the link to comment (again). Let us know how it goes.

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