Tuberville Continues Fighting to Protect Alabama’s Coastal Economy from Radical Climate Change Policies

“In Alabama, the Port of Mobile generated more than $85 billion in total economic activity in 2021.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is continuing to push back against the Biden administration’s attempts to harm domestic energy production and reduce activity at ports along the Gulf of Mexico. Today, he joined U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and five other Senate colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland expressing concerns with current and future rulemakings regarding protections and Critical Habitat designations for Rice’s whales ahead of upcoming budget hearings in the Senate.

“While NOAA and BOEM’s data is incomplete, we do have a robust understanding of the economic impact of the Gulf of Mexico,” the senators wrote.“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.”

Current and potential rulemakings would jeopardize energy exploration in the Gulf, compromise U.S. national security, and challenge supply chain stability. The Biden administration has repeatedly implemented rules based on outdated data that lacks sound scientific backing, including a recent proposal to establish a 28,000-square-mile Critical Habitat for the Rice’s whale within the Gulf of Mexico, despite a lack of evidence supporting the need to establish one. The Rice’s whale is currently protected under the Endangered Species Act, and no evidence has been presented to support the need for an expanded Critical Habitat area. 

Joining Senators Tuberville and Cassidy in the letter are U.S. Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Katie Britt (R-AL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). 

The full letter can be found here


Senator Tuberville has repeatedly slammed the Biden administration’s attempts to sabotage domestic energy production and increase reliance on foreign energy sources.

Shortly after the Biden administration announced its intent to establish a 28,000-square-mile Critical Habitat for the Rice’s whale, Senator Tuberville sent a letter to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Director Richard Spinrad and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Liz Klein citing the severe economic impacts the rule would have for Alabama businesses and the oil and gas industry along the Gulf. 

In September of 2023, Senator Tuberville also helped introduce the Warding Off Hostile Administrative Lease Efforts (WHALE) Act to prevent the U.S. Department of Commerce and Department of the Interior from issuing maritime rules related to the Rice’s whale that would impede offshore energy development and military activities.

In October of 2023, Senator Tuberville reiterated his call to rescind the proposed rule to establish a Critical Habitat for the Rice’s whale in another letter to Director Spinrad and Director Klein. 

Later that month, the NOAA formally announced it denied a petition from non-government organizations to establish a mandatory 10-knot speed limit and other vessel-related mitigation measures in the Gulf of Mexico, following Senator Tuberville’s efforts with his Senate Republican colleagues. However, this rule was one in a laundry list of policies that threaten to harm Alabama’s Gulf economy. 


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Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.