Call for a permanent ban on Atlantic Coast offshore drilling getting stronger. Watch this video.

“President Obama, it’s time to protect our Atlantic Coast from offshore drilling forever.”

That was the powerful message delivered to the Administration on Monday by the Business Alliance for Protecting (BAPAC) the Atlantic Coast, which the South Carolina Small Business Chamber co-founded this past September.  Billionaire Tom Steyer joined the call for a permanent ban also that day.

Three days later Senator Bob Menendez (NJ) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate about the opposition to offshore drilling and the need for the President to permanently protect the coast from the petroleum industry destroying local tourism, commercial fishing and recreation economies.  The Senator cites the over 12,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families of BAPAC opposing seismic testing and offshore drilling.

After Senator Menendez’s speech, the Senate failed on a 51-47 vote to advancing legislation trying to bribe Atlantic Coast states into accepting offshore drilling (here and here).

Finally, the good news we expected from the Department of Interior was made official on Friday. The 5-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing does not include the Atlantic Coast, an announcement made back in March:

“After an extensive public input process, the lease sale that was proposed in the Draft Proposed Program in the Mid- and South Atlantic area was removed during the earlier Proposed Program stage of the process due to current market dynamics, strong local opposition and conflicts with competing commercial and military ocean uses.”

Much of the local opposition to offshore drilling came from South Carolina (here, here, here and here).

Now President Obama must listen to the overwhelming voice of local businesses, local governments and citizens calling for permanent protection of the Atlantic Coast.


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