- On April 1, 2019, SIAN was treated to an excellent presentation by Emily Woglom, Executive Vice President of the Ocean Conservancy. She discussed compelling data about the global impact of plastics on the oceans, described how the Ocean Conservancy is influencing policies and practices around the world by creating science-based solutions and suggested what we can do locally to mitigate the negative effects of plastics. To learn more about the work of the Ocean Conservancy and how you can support their work, click here. Remember: Even small changes can have a big impact so think twice next time you want to use a straw or plastic bag! To see what it’s like to swim in a pool of plastic waste, click here.
- Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey we conducted recently identifying issues of importance to our members and seeking ideas for future presentations. The top three issues to emerge as high priority to SIAN are offshore drilling/seismic testing, gun control and sea level rise. Many people expressed interest in working on these issues and we will follow up with you on these in the fall.
- Last but not least…..Great News!
The Trump administration announced on April 24, 2019, that it was delaying development of a new offshore oil drilling program pending resolution of a March ruling by a federal judge in Alaska that the Interior Department could not reverse a ban on drilling imposed by President Obama in areas offshore Alaska and the Atlantic. The Trump administration was developing a new draft program for 2019 – 2024 that would have allowed leasing in virtually all U.S. offshore waters for oil and gas development, including waters offshore Alaska and the Atlantic.
News reports also quoted administration officials as saying strong opposition to offshore drilling on both the East and West coasts was another factor in the decision to delay a new offshore program until after the 2020 election.
The 2017 – 2022 offshore oil and gas program developed by the Obama administration is still in effect, but it only allows leasing areas to oil companies in major portions of the Gulf of Mexico as well as in Cook Inlet Alaska. By law, the federal government must always have a 5-year offshore oil and gas program in place. Therefore, the Interior Department will probably begin developing a new program sometime in late 2020 or early 2021.
Opposition to seismic surveys and all drilling-related activities in the Atlantic will continue. SIAN must support efforts such as the bill introduced in March by Congressman Joe Cunningham that would ban oil development activities off the East and West coasts.