What is BOEM?
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is a government bureau responsible for the development of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) of the Gulf, which typically takes place in the form of selling leases for oil and gas drilling.
BOEM's website describes their mission as:
"...to manage development of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf energy and mineral resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way."
and one of their key functions:
"BOEM is responsible for offshore Renewable Energy Programs. The Renewable Energy Program grants leases, easements, and rights-of-way for orderly, safe, and environmentally responsible renewable energy development activities."
Why 'No New Leases'?
ReThink Energy Florida (REF) is one of many environmental organizations urging BOEM to halt all new oil and gas lease sales, specifically the proposed 2017-2022 sale of Gulf of Mexico leases offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The oil and gas disasters that have already occurred in the Gulf (as seen with the Deep Water Horizon explosion and the Royal Dutch Shell oil spill among many others) paired with the copious greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil and gas combustion lead ReThink Energy Florida to oppose continued drilling in the Gulf. We believe that in order for BOEM to achieve their mission of environmental responsibility, they should not be allowing drilling in the Gulf.
While BOEM has issued an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to asses the risks of drilling to the Gulf environment, we feel that the EIS fails to adequately disclose the contribution of their expanded offshore oil drilling to ocean acidification, climate change, ground-level ozone formation, and the ensuing harm inflicted on the public health of Gulf communities.
The No New Leases movement seeks to prevent oil and gas drilling in the Gulf, empower individuals to protect the Gulf, inform BOEM of the harm of their proposed leases, and encourage BOEM to pursue development of innovative and renewable energy resources like offshore wind, floating solar, tide and wave technology, and associated onshore development instead of the highly detrimental oil and gas developments.
How is ReThink Involved? How Can I Get Involved?
On May 17th, 2016, REF representatives attended a BOEM Public Hearing in Panama City, FL, to meet BOEM representatives, gather more information about the proposed lease sale, and submit our talking points as public commentary on the EIS.
Along with our on-going research and campaign development on this issue, REF representatives attended a Gulf Interdependence Day march in the heart of New Orleans on August 20th, 2016 to demonstrate opposition to BOEM's proposed offshore drilling plans.
Beyond this action, you can get involved in on-going action on this issue by following The Oil is Still Here and So Are We facebook page, the ReThink Energy Florida facebook page, and by frequenting the No New Leases website and the events they are involved in.