For Immediate Release: July 28, 2022
Press Contact: Dustin Renaud,, 228-209-2194

Inflation Reduction Act Throws Gulf Communities Under the Bus

New Climate Legislation Would Mandate Leasing for Oil Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

NEW ORLEANS – Democrats in the Senate released information on the Inflation Reduction Act which includes game changing climate legislation that would include significant investments in the renewable energy and transportation sectors by offering substantial tax breaks that would spark innovation and drive down prices. This could decrease the U.S.’s reliance on fossil fuels. The Gulf of Mexico is, however, being used as a bargaining chip for further oil and gas development. 

Healthy Gulf’s Executive Director Cynthia Sarthou made the following statement: 

“This so-called climate legislation sacrifices the Gulf of Mexico and its communities to decades of more oil drilling and spilling. While this bill does offer substantial investments in renewable energy and transportation, it misses the mark by tying these investments to more fossil fuel entrenchment. This bill will chain us to the oil and gas industry for decades to come. 

Legislating mandatory lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico will not require any public input and will actively ignore legal precedents. The fact is that they are tying our transition away from oil and gas production to more oil and gas production. You read that right. There is a provision in the bill that would prohibit offshore wind leasing unless the federal government holds a sale of at least 60 million acres for oil leasing within the year of any planned wind lease sale for the next 10 years.

This bill also aims to nullify Healthy Gulf’s legal victories that stopped Lease Sale 257 in the Gulf based on a flawed Environmental Impact Statement. If passed, it would reinstate 1.7 million acres of oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico without requiring compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. It would also force one lease sale in the Gulf by the end of 2022, and another by September of 2023; both offering roughly 80 million acres.

Let us be clear: Gulf communities are not a sacrifice zone. Nor are we a bargaining chip. Our communities are already overburdened by pollution from this industry. While Biden and this bill give a nod to the fight for environmental justice, they are simultaneously forcing more environmental injustices to occur and condemning yet another generation to suffer the consequences of extractive industry infrastructure and the inevitable pollution it creates.” 

Healthy Gulf is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to collaborate with and serve communities who love the Gulf of Mexico by providing the research, communications, and coalition-building tools needed to reverse the long pattern of over exploitation of the Gulf’s natural resources.

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