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Stop Efforts to Attack the Marine Mammal Protection Act

Stop Efforts to Attack the Marine Mammal Protection Act

Name: SECURE American Energy Act and SEA Act

Bill Number: HR 4239 and HR 3133

Increased commercial development of offshore oil, gas and wind projects would cause stress, harm and even death to endangered marine mammals—including dolphins and whales—along with endangered sharks and other fish. Two bills currently being considered in the House of Representatives contain explicit exemptions allowing harm to animals otherwise protected by the Endangered Species Act.

The Streamlining Environmental Approvals (SEA) Act, HR 3133, and the SECURE American Energy Act, HR 4239, would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) in ways that potentially put at risk endangered marine mammals—as well as other animals, including walruses and polar bears—by fast tracking the permit process for offshore gas, oil and wind projects. This new timetable would leave little time for animal advocates and others to raise concerns about a project’s impact. In addition, the bills would limit monitoring of marine mammals during these projects, leaving them at the mercy of industry.

This would result in an increase in the number of marine mammals and other marine life affected by these projects, exposing them to dangerous noise levels and chemical emissions that can put these animals at further risk.

Most appalling, passage of these bills would eliminate current marine mammal protections under the MMPA and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by expanding the areas open for offshore development, and by allowing endangered or threatened marine mammals to be hunted, harmed or killed under certain circumstances. 

HR 4239 and HR 3133 were proposed to make the offshore permit process move more quickly without regard for the effects they will have on marine mammals and other marine life. This is one of the types of development—large commercial enterprises—that the MMPA and the ESA were designed to protect against, yet this legislation would exempt these animals while threatening more of our coastal waters.

 

Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your U.S. Representative and urge them to oppose legislation that disregards existing animal protection laws.
  2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.

 

Recipients

  • Your Representative

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Message

Prevent the passage of legislation harmful to marine mammals

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to you in opposition to HR 4239 and HR 3133, which favor the offshore drilling of oil and gas and development of wind turbines over the protection of endangered whales, dolphins and other marine life.

If passed, these bills will jeopardize protections under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) by allowing the oil, gas and wind industries a shorter review time for proposed projects and surveys. This means that there would not be sufficient time for a thorough review in the permit process to consider the effect of projects on marine mammals. Life or death decisions would be made based not on what is the best science, but on what is best for oil, gas and wind interests.

These bills would also remove many monitoring and reporting requirements affecting marine mammals who are currently protected by the MMPA. In addition, this legislation would create a complete exception to laws prohibiting hunting, harming or killing endangered animals listed under the Endangered Species Act, undermining the protections of this important law.

I believe that these bills are ill-conceived and would callously increase dangerous activities offshore to serve demands by industry while ignoring the consequences on the environment and on the welfare of animals who are already endangered by human activities.

As your constituent, I ask you to oppose passage of these bills and to work to protect marine animals and the environment before giving approval to the heedless development of more offshore energy projects.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]