None needed at this time.
Unfortunately, an amendment offered by Representative Don Beyer to remove Section 110 failed in a party-line vote of 19-15. H.R. 4239, the “SECURE American Energy Act,” is now out of the House Natural Resources Committee and awaits a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)—the nation’s premier law protecting marine mammals such as dolphins, whales, seals, and manatees from harassment, capture, injury, or killing—is under attack. Tomorrow, the US House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee will debate and vote on H.R. 4239, the “SECURE American Energy Act,” a bill to promote oil and gas drilling on public lands and offshore.
Section 110 of this bill would remove essential elements of the MMPA that limit harm to marine mammals from human activities to small numbers in specific areas. Hundreds of thousands, even millions, of marine mammals would be adversely affected by these changes. Furthermore, the bill would expedite exploration and drilling permits by not allowing time for proper review by government scientists.
Thanks to the MMPA, the populations of a number of marine mammal species that had suffered heavy losses and, in some cases, faced imminent extinction 45 years ago have rebounded to healthier population levels. H.R. 4239 poses the greatest threat yet since the MMPA’s enactment, purely to benefit a fossil fuel industry that has little interest in protecting marine mammals when profit is at stake!