Fighting back on his environmental allies

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Rep. Jerry Carl

One of my favorite things about Alabama’s First Congressional District is the opportunities and resources we have because of the Gulf of Mexico. So many of us from around the state (and plenty of neighboring states) have all enjoyed recreating in Alabama’s waters, and we all benefit from the commercial activity at the Port of Mobile. The Port impacts hundreds of thousands of Alabama jobs every single day, and so much of the growth all around Alabama is happening because of the import/export capabilities of the Port of Mobile. We also have huge oil reserves in our Gulf, and Alabama benefits from millions of dollars in royalties each year from drilling off our coast.

Unfortunately, President Biden and his army of environmental terrorists are working around the clock to fundamentally change our way of life and slow down or stop all of this. It started with President Biden refusing to hold oil and gas lease sales, which we have been fighting back against since he first took office. Now, activists are abusing the Endangered Species Act in a ridiculous attempt to limit vessel speeds all over the Gulf of Mexico to protect a whale they think they might have heard in the region.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

These activists want to impose a 10-knot speed limit in the Gulf and restrict travel at night, so boats don’t accidentally hit a whale that nobody has actually seen. If this sounds crazy, it’s because it is. If we were to let them get away with this, it would impact commercial and recreational fishing, significantly restrict activity at the Port of Mobile, and effectively shut down oil and gas drilling in the Gulf.  This is completely unacceptable, and I won’t allow them to get away with it.

The first thing I did was join House Natural Resources Chairman Rep. Bruce Westerman and several colleagues on a letter to the Biden administration expressing our issues with this unconstitutional decision and demanding answers to assist with the House Natural Resources Committee’s oversight activities. We will not let the Biden administration continue abusing their power and imposing ridiculous regulations on our oil and gas industry.

Additionally, I’ve been using the Appropriations process and every tool at my disposal to make sure not a single taxpayer dollar can be used to enforce this rule. I successfully got language in the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill to ensure the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) doesn’t get any funding to enforce this unconstitutional mandate. This Administration can create rules all day long if they want to, but we hold the checkbook.

I recently joined Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Rep. Dan Newhouse recently on his podcast, A Voice for Rural America, to talk about our fight against this Rice’s Whale nonsense and the need to reform the Endangered Species Act. I grew up in the outdoors and raised my kids to do the same, and you won’t find anyone who cares more about conservation than my family and me. But, when someone can abuse a law to shut down the livelihoods of entire families and industries, there needs to be reform.

This fight is far from over, and I am not giving up anytime soon because the federal government should work for us, not against us.