Buried in the Federal Register is a seemingly innocuous proposal to streamline something called the federal consistency process in the Coastal Zone Management Act affecting offshore oil and gas, in the name of efficiency. (Your first clue: when Trump regulators want to promote efficiency, it’s not the good kind of energy efficiency climate hawks like.)
We don’t know exactly what kind of streamlining Trump has in mind. But we have some ideas, and, alas, they all favor the oil companies who seek to exploit our coasts. We’re guessing that “streamlining” means cutting down the ability of states like California and Virginia to review offshore oil plans and hold public hearings -- just in time for a long-rumored expansion of oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
Click here to submit a comment. We’ve drafted a proposed comment for you to submit -- copy and paste below -- but please feel free to add your own words to make it even more powerful.
Pre-drafted comment (copy and paste, or revise as you see fit):
I am submitting this public comment in opposition to NOAA’s proposed “streamlining” of the federal consistency process under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA).
The federal consistency determination under the CZMA has long provided an essential partnership opportunity among coastal states, affected local governments, and federal agencies proposing offshore oil and gas drilling, seismic airgun petroleum exploration, and renewable energy projects. States with a federally-approved Coastal Zone Management Plan, acting in concert with and on behalf of their coastal communities, hold a legitimate role in determining whether a range of activities associated with federal offshore drilling and other proposed major federal actions are consistent - or inconsistent - with the state’s Coastal Plan.
I am deeply concerned that the unwarranted removal or weakening of CZMA consistency authority could leave a coastal state virtually defenseless in the face of federal offshore drilling proposals and related decisions leading up to the implementation of an Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore oil and gas lease sale, an OCS Plan of Exploration, an OCS Plan of Development and Production, or federal permits for adjacent seismic airgun survey programs.
Absent the maintenance of a state’s well-established right to make an effective federal consistency finding, the subsequent necessary orderly planning to facilitate transportation of any petroleum via tanker, barge, or pipeline, would instead be dictated by federal agencies, rather than continuing to emerge as decisions that are currently co-managed in consultation with affected local governments and coastal states.
Thus, I oppose this proposed rule.