WHALE Act: Protecting Gulf Energy and Rice’s Whales

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 29, 2023
NOIA Contact: jwilliams@nullnoia.org

 WHALE Act: Protecting Gulf Energy and Rice's Whales

Washington, D.C.National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito issued the following statement after U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Katie Britt (R-AL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) introduced the Warding Off Hostile Administrative Lease Efforts (WHALE) Act:

“The proposed legislation aims to prevent future arbitrary and capricious actions that can only hamstring Gulf of Mexico energy production. This need became even more evident when a last-minute preliminary injunction was necessitated to halt the unwarranted withdrawal of millions of valuable acres and the imposition of arbitrary new lease terms for Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 261. The administration is still pursuing other actions related to the Rice’s whale that do not reflect good policy or the best science. The WHALE Act serves as a legislative safeguard, ensuring that any actions related to the Rice's whale adhere to the law, incorporate the best and most recent science, and are not driven by regressive or procedurally invalid energy policies.

“Across both chambers of Congress, bipartisan efforts have been underway to offer concrete policy solutions to strengthen America's offshore energy sector. We strongly urge Congress to promptly consider and vote on these bills, including the WHALE Act."

About the WHALE Act
The Wrestling Hostile Administrative Leasing Effects (WHALE) Act:

  • Prevents the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior from issuing rules or offshore oil and gas lease requirements or recommendations that establish vessel speed or vessel operational restrictions;
  • Requires the Departments to complete a study demonstrating that any mitigation protocols developed to protect Rice’s Whales (RWs) in the Gulf of Mexico will not have a negative impact on supply chains, United States offshore energy production and generation, military activities, including readiness, and United States commercial and recreational fishing or maritime commerce;
  • Requires the Secretary of Commerce to develop mitigation protocols that make use of real-time location monitoring and location information; and
  • Prohibits mitigation protocols and forbids evening transit or vessel speed or vessel operational restrictions.

You can download the bill here.


About NOIA
The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) represents and advances a dynamic and growing offshore energy industry, providing solutions that support communities and protect our workers, the public and our environment.

National Ocean Industries Association
1120 G Street, NW • Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005

Phone: 202.347.6900 | Email: media@nullnoia.org