The Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act (“ASTRO”) is astronomically bad in many respects:
- Revenue from offshore drilling is redirected to coerce reluctant governments and certain coastal states (VA, NC, SC, GA, and Alaska) to accept the risks of drilling accidents and routine pollution off their coasts. The closer the rig to your place the more money promised.
- Open Alaska’s permanently-protected Bristol Bay to offshore oil and gas leasing threatening the sustainably harvested and richest Sockeye Salmon fishing grounds on the planet and then closing one of Alaska’s most important employment sectors – fishing.
- Eliminate regional planning and give the Secretary of Interior broad authority to ignore the adopted Five-Year OCS Leasing Program and instead to lease drilling anywhere at his sole discretion without consideration of the environmental, social and fiscal safeguards in that law.
- Ban the creation of National Marine Monuments by any future President, requiring instead an act of Congress.
- Rescind the critical “Arctic Rule,” enacted to help protect the biological integrity of the Arctic Ocean if and when offshore drilling happens.
- Undo the lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon oil spill by likely recombining the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and streamlining the combined agency.
Please add your comments, insights and heartfelt thoughts to our letter below. Why should your representative oppose this bad bill? You need not be comprehensive. One item, articulated well, is more memorable and quotable.
United States House of Representatives Committee on Resources
On behalf of citizens, Seamount Guardians and Canyon Rangers of the Northeast Canyons and Seamount National Monument, we write in opposition to the Accessing Strategic Resources Offshore Act (ASTRO) as was presented to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
The bill is an extreme approach to the management of our offshore resources, eliminates or modifies common-sense management tools, and puts at risk our natural environment, coastal communities and economies.
As a nation we have sufficient oil production to keep prices down and to support a robust export market. Consequently, there is no need to expose more of our coasts and communities to the hazards and harms of offshore drilling as represented in ASTRO.
I’ll add my words to those of my colleagues and neighbors as to what is wrong with ASTRO for our nation’s public land, ocean and energy policies.
For clean water, healthy oceans and shores, please urge all members of the House Natural Resources Committee to oppose ASTRO as well.
Thank you for your consideration of our concerns.