1819 News

Tuberville says new whale habitat policy could devastate Alabama's coastal communities

By Erica Thomas

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) has signed onto a letter to the Biden administration warning how radical climate change policies can negatively impact Alabama’s economy.

The letter expressed concerns with current and future protections for Critical Habitat designations for Rice’s whales. A new proposal would establish a 28,000-square-mile habitat for the protected whales in the Gulf of Mexico. The policy would not allow for domestic energy production or exploration there.

“While NOAA and BOEM’s data is incomplete, we do have a robust understanding of the economic impact of the Gulf of Mexico,” the letter stated. “Our ports provide a clear view of commercial activity in and out of the Gulf. In Texas, the Port of Houston generated $439 billion in statewide economic value in 2022. Ports across the state of Louisiana generated $182 billion in statewide economic impact, which includes nine ports located directly on the coast. In Alabama, the Port of Mobile generated more than $85 billion in total economic activity in 2021. Imposing restrictions on development in the Gulf of Mexico would directly harm the economic activity and jobs across coastal communities.”

U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Katie Britt (R-AL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) also signed the letter.

Rices Whale Letter 5.1.24 by Erica Thomas on Scribd