Dear Chairman McGovern and Ranking Member Cole,
Our organizations write in strong opposition to Amendment 151 to H.R. 6396, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense (NDAA) Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. This amendment, if enacted, would not only cut off reasonable debate on the future of domestic energy production but it also appears to make existing energy production less safe.
Regarding the first substantive portion of the amendment, we believe that as we reach the end of the existing Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) moratorium on certain energy activities in 2022, regulators should be allowed to examine responsible development in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Of course, there is a legitimate discussion to be had about how this development can be done so that it best protects not only U.S. military testing and training needs but also tourism and coastal living. However, this questionably germane rush to extend the GOMESA Moratorium as part of the NDAA is not the way to address it. Among other flaws, we believe this portion of the amendment: