PJC Statement at Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) virtual hearing on offshore oil drilling, Monday September 12th
On July 1, the Department of the Interior (DOI) invited the public to comment on a proposed offshore leasing program that will chart the DOI's course forward over the next five years. The proposed plan removes from consideration the federal waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts while putting at risk 10 sites in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the Cook Inlet off south-central Alaska.
These potential lease sales, including sites in the Gulf of Mexico, could be refined based on public input prior to program approval. Following this period of public comment, BOEM will prepare a Proposed Final Program and Final PEIS, which will include analysis of the size, timing, location, and number of potential lease sales in the Proposed Program. Those may be further narrowed, or areas could be excluded. There is then a minimum 60-day period before the Secretary can approve the program and finalize the Record of Decision.
The People's Justice Council submitted the following verbal comments at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) virtual hearing on offshore oil drilling, Monday September 12th (statements were limited to 2 minutes):
The People’s Justice Council (PJC), based in Alabama but focused on the Gulf South and beyond, is heading up the “No Dirty Deals” Collaborative to voice opposition to offering up the Gulf of Mexico as a sacrifice zone. A group of public theologians and social critics from various traditions and backgrounds, PJC operates at the intersectionality of justice through interdisciplinary methods. Its vision is to create a just world one corner at a time - a world that is equitable and sustainable, with just policies, and that places people and planet over profit.
As New Scientist reported last week, Six climate tipping points are likely to occur if we breach 1.5°C goal. We should be urgently cutting our fossil fuel emissions, not adding new ones. But in tying fossil fuel leasing with renewables, The Inflation Reduction Act is a Trojan Horse for dirty, climate- and people-killing oil and gas profiteers. We stand with Taproot Earth and many more colleagues in saying, “‘No new leases’ is non-negotiable.” Instead, we demand justly-sourced renewable energy.
PJC is creating a set of interfaith resources to dump dangerous Trojan Horses and dirty side deals and ensure that people and the planet are not sacrificed for profit.
To voice your opposition to offering up the Gulf South as a sacrifice zone, register your comments no later than October 6, 2022, in one of the following ways:
Through the Regulations.gov web portal: Navigate to http://www.regulations.gov and under the Search tab, in the space provided, type in Docket ID: BOEM-2022-0031 to submit comments and to view other comments already submitted.
Mailed in an envelope labeled “Comments for the 2023-2028 National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Proposed Program” and mailed or sent by delivery service to Ms. Kelly Hammerle, Chief, National OCS 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.