In the midst of the 7th year Memorial of the BP Oil Drilling Disaster, the Bureau Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is hosting public hearings in the five Gulf state for 2018 GOM Draft Supplemental EIS. BOEM's 2017-2022 Oil and Gas Leasing Program proposes to lease over 70 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico so that oil and gas companies can drill up to 9.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent over the next 70 years. BOEM's proposal minimizes the environmental impact and costs associated with catastrophic spills and does not sufficiently justify the need for new leasing in the Gulf in light of emerging renewable energy markets and the seriousness of the climate change.
Last year, concerned citizens across the five Gulf states joined the national Keep It In the Ground and No New Leases campaigns to halt new oil and gas extraction on our land and water. As a result of national efforts, the Obama Administration removed the Atlantic and the Artic from the Oil and Gas Leasing Program leaving future oil and gas exploration to concentrate in the Gulf of Mexico. This year BOEM is moving forward with the program and is getting ready to sell off our Gulf to the highest bidder. But before they do, the public has one more chance to comment on the EIS.
The 2018 GOM Draft Supplemental EIS contains analyses of the potential environmental impacts that could result from a proposed region-wide lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, including preliminary results of new air quality modelling. The preliminary results have not yet been subject to review. BOEM is interested in comments regarding the modelling and analysis. The Supplemental EIS is expected to be used to inform decisions on proposed Lease Sales 250 and 251, as scheduled in the 2017‑2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing: Proposed Final Program (Five-Year Program). The analyses may also be applied and supplemented as necessary to inform decisions for each of the remaining proposed lease sales scheduled in the Five-Year Program.
To learn more, citizens should attend the public hearing on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, Courtyard by Marriott, Gulfport Beachfront MS Hotel, 1600 East Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, Mississippi 39501.
Join Steps Coalition and partners outside the Marriot at 4:00 pm for a press conference. For more details about the conference, contact Jennifer Crosslin at firstname.lastname@example.org.