Policy Update Sep 10, 2019

Position on H.R. 205 and H.R. 1941

NPCA submitted the following position to members of the House of Representatives before a floor vote on September 11th.

Since 1919, National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. On behalf of our more than 1.3 million members and supporters nationwide, we urge you to vote for H.R. 205 and H.R. 1941 when they come to the House floor for a vote on Wednesday, September 11th.

Together, these bills will protect coastal national parks that cover nearly 6,300 shorelines miles and over 1.2 million marine water acres from expanded offshore drilling and industrialization; parks that contribute over $6.2 billion in economic output and 58,810 private-sector jobs to local communities. Clean, safe beaches and coastal parks are critical to communities along the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

H.R. 205: Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act – NPCA supports this legislation to permanently extend the moratorium on leasing in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico due to concerns of opening new areas to offshore oil drilling that could negatively affect national parks. These parks have already seen the negative effects of offshore oil and gas development through the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The health of the national parks around the Gulf of Mexico is directly linked to the health of the entire Gulf. Within the Gulf of Mexico watershed, there are ten unique national park units, including Everglades National Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and DeSoto National Memorial. In addition to national parks, there are other protected lands and waters of national significance along the Gulf coast, which include national wildlife refuges, national forests, and marine protected areas. These places are integral to the region’s natural systems, economic success and cultural fabric, which are collectively put at risk by offshore oil and gas development.

H.R. 1941: Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act – NPCA supports this legislation to protect our Atlantic and Pacific coasts from the potential harm and industrialization of offshore drilling. By permanently removing the Atlantic and Pacific planning areas from future Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Programs, 50 national parks along these coasts, and the local communities they support, will be free from the threat of oil spills and industrialization. Visitors to these parks, including Acadia and Olympic National Parks, Cape Canaveral, Cape Hatteras and Point Reyes National Seashores, supported over 56,000 jobs and generated nearly $6 billion in economic output in 2018. Not only are these sites destinations for millions of annual visitors, but they also serve as havens for birds, sea turtles, whales and other wildlife. These visitors, wildlife, national parks and local economies will continue to thrive without the threat of oil and gas development if H.R. 1941 becomes law.