TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes H.R. 205, the “Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act of 2019,” and H.R. 1941, the “Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act,” which would permanently ban energy leasing in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic and Pacific planning areas respectively. The Chamber also opposes H.R. 1146, the “Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act,” which would prohibit energy development in the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The Chamber will consider including votes on these bills in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
Together, H.R. 205 and H.R. 1941 would permanently ban energy development in areas representing nearly 30% of all technically recoverable oil and natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf. Moreover, the bills preempt the long-existing and well-tested process already established in law requiring frequent assessment of potential energy, economic, and environmental impacts of offshore development, coupled with consultation of state, local, and tribal governments.
Similarly, H.R. 1146 would preempt as much as 5.1 billion barrels of new oil production that would predominantly displace foreign oil on the Pacific coast, which currently imports about 80% of all oil produced in Alaska. The potential new influx of crude production from ANWR would solidify the longevity of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, a critically important piece of U.S. energy infrastructure, which is under threat due to persistently declining throughput.
As we have seen over the last decade, changes in energy technology and economics are difficult to accurately predict, and policymakers must guard against unintended consequences of their actions. It would be bad policy to permanently deny access to extensive energy resources the U.S. economy relies on daily and will continue to rely on for many decades to come, and such a policy would harm our economic and energy security.
The Chamber urges you to oppose H.R. 205, H.R. 1941, and H.R. 1146.
Senior Vice President
Congressional and Public Affairs