The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Christine Ayala  972.765.3644

Dustin Cranor:, 954.348.1314

President Biden to Pause Leasing for New Offshore Drilling

Oceana applauds the president’s bold action to protect our ocean and coastal resources.


Today, President Biden is expected to sign an executive order pausing all federal offshore and onshore oil and gas leasing.

"Oceana applauds the president's bold action to halt new offshore oil and gas leasing. More drilling means more climate pollution that we simply cannot afford. Climate change is already wreaking havoc on our lives and livelihoods and it's a relief to see President Biden putting solutions to the climate crisis first," said Diane Hoskins, campaign director at Oceana. "President Biden's actions are a win for the health of our ocean, our economy and our climate. We look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to permanently move away from dirty and dangerous offshore drilling toward clean, renewable energy sources like offshore wind."

A new Oceana analysis released this week finds ending new leasing for offshore oil and gas could prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions as well as more than $720 billion in damages to people, property and the environment.

Additionally, the analysis found that ending new leasing will also safeguard the U.S. clean coast economy, which supports around 3.3 million American jobs and $250 billion in GDP through activities like tourism, recreation and fishing.

As of today, opposition and concern over offshore drilling activities nationwide includes:

  • Every East and West Coast governor, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, California, Oregon and Washington
  • More than 390 local municipalities
  • Over 2,300 local, state and federal bipartisan officials
  • East and West Coast alliances representing over 56,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families
  • Pacific, New England, South Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils
  • More than 120 scientists
  • More than 80 former military leaders
  • Commercial and recreational fishing interests such as Southeastern Fisheries Association, Snook and Gamefish Foundation, Fisheries Survival Fund, Southern Shrimp Alliance, Billfish Foundation and International Game Fish Association
  • California Coastal Commission, California Fish and Game Commission and California State Lands Commission
  • Department of Defense, NASA, U.S. Air Force and Florida Defense Support Task Force

To learn more about Oceana's campaign to stop the expansion of offshore drilling activities, please click here.

Oceana is the largest international ocean conservation and advocacy organization. Oceana works to protect and restore the world's oceans through targeted policy campaigns.