Policy Update Jan 26, 2023

Position on H.R. 21, the Strategic Petroleum Response Act

NPCA submitted the following position to members of the House of Representatives ahead of expected floor votes the week of January 23, 2023

NPCA opposes H.R. 21, the Strategic Petroleum Response Act, and urges members to vote against this bill. This legislation would require vast swaths of America’s public’s lands and waters be offered for oil and gas extraction with no protections for our natural, cultural, or historic spaces. Not only would this be detrimental to the environment and worsen the consequences of climate change, but it also threatens national parks and natural and cultural resources managed under other agencies.

Support Amendment #75 (Wasserman Schultz) – This amendment would exclude any oil and gas leasing in Big Cypress National Preserve under this bill. Big Cypress plays a vital role in the long-term integrity of the unique hydrologic system and wildlife habitat essential to a healthy Greater Everglades Ecosystem. Yet the Preserve’s fragile waters, protected and endemic wildlife species, and sensitive habitats and soils are especially susceptible to human disturbance and can take decades, if ever, to recover. Oil and gas exploration and extraction activities are among the most detrimental and damaging undertakings facing the Preserve.

Support Amendment #123 (Pallone) – This amendment would require the Secretary of the Interior to certify that any increase in the percentage of Federal lands leased for oil and gas production would not harm cultural resources. Our national parks and public lands protect many of the most significant places and stories in our nation’s history. From cliff dwellings and petroglyphs to battlefields and historic homes, these places should not be sacrificed for increased oil and gas production.

Support on Amendment #145 (Grijalva) - This amendment would protect national parks, national recreation areas, national wildlife refuges and other protected public lands from oil and gas extraction authorized under this bill. Our national parks are vital to protecting unique landscapes, telling America’s stories and supporting local economies. These special places should be explicitly protected from future oil and gas production as promoted in this bill.

Support Amendments #3 (Castor), #7 (DelBene), #15 (Huffman), #18 (Levin), #26 (Panetta), #29 (Spanberger), #49 (Carbajal), #104 (Pallone) – These amendments build on bipartisan support and would exclude or withdraw certain coastal and outer continental shelf tracts from oil and gas leasing under this bill. Our coasts, home to 88 national park sites and their bordering marine monuments and sanctuaries, are uniquely vulnerable to the threat of oil and gas drilling. Devastating spills have brought tremendous environmental and economic damage to the national parks, coastal ecosystems, and our communities already facing the growing threat of shoreline erosion and increasingly dangerous storms, floods, and surging tides.

In addition to the specific amendments mentioned above, we encourage you to support any amendments that decrease the impacts of climate change, address environmental injustice, ensure engagement with Tribal communities or increase protections for federal lands.

We also urge you to oppose any amendments that increase oil and gas extraction on federal lands or undermine key environmental protections.

Read more from NPCA