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Department of Interior Sacrifices the Gulf Once Again

Contact: Emma Collin,

Last month, the U.S. Department of Interior and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released its final draft plan for the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, outlining the locations where oil and gas companies will and will not be permitted to drill over the next 5 years. This final version of the plan continues to protect the Atlantic Seaboard from oil and gas drilling and - in a new change to the plan - protects the Arctic region as well. The plan permits deepwater oil and gas exploration and extraction in more than 92 million acres throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

The Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) applauds the leadership of local people in the Arctic and Atlantic that made these wins possible, and that of the federal government in protecting these regions. Local leaders - like our partner Esau Sinnok, a young Inupiaq Eskimo from Shishmaref, Alaska - have worked tirelessly to protect their homes, and their victory is one we should all celebrate.

GCCLP also firmly asserts that the Gulf South cannot continue to be a sacrifice zone to support the energy needs of the nation. Opening the Gulf of Mexico to more oil and gas drilling further accelerates us towards climate disaster and further endangers the health, livelihoods, and safety of Gulf South communities. It is time to fight for a new renewable energy economy that treats our workers, our planet, and our communities with dignity. As such, Louisiana and our national allies must work to elect leaders who see the Gulf region as a valuable national asset and not a sacrifice zone.

As we transition to a new presidential administration in 2017, we must fiercely demand the protection of the Gulf and also protect our wins in the Atlantic and Arctic. GCCLP will continue to work for ecological equity and climate justice in the Gulf South.


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