Policy Update

House of Reps Passes Offshore Drilling Bans



NCEL Point of Contact


On Wednesday, Sep. 12, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills that would permanently ban new offshore drilling along the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. The bills reflect the staunch opposition voiced by state officials and community leaders along the U.S. coasts to efforts by the current administration to expand offshore drilling and oil and gas exploration. 

The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act (H.R. 1941), sponsored by Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), permanently prohibits the Department of the Interior from offering any oil and gas leasing in the Pacific and Atlantic. The Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act of 2019 (H.R. 205), sponsored by Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL), makes permanent the current moratorium, set to expire at the end of June 2022, on offshore oil and gas activities in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. 

Both bills now move to the Senate where they’re expected to receive pushback. In light of this, offshore drilling opponents plan to pursue adding limitations to the practice through the budget process. States legislatures also continue to advance their own bans to protect their coasts. 

If you would like to work on offshore drilling policy or learn more about ongoing state efforts visit www.ncel.net/offshore-drilling.