Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez speaks with Goose Point Oysters COO Kathleen Nisbet Moncy of Willapa Bay in the House Small Business Committee hearing room.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) welcomed Kathleen Nisbet Moncy, a second-generation oyster farmer of Willapa Bay, as a witness before the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Rural Development, Energy, and Supply Chains.
The hearing focused on recent proposed regulations to remove the burden of ocean cleanup from U.S. taxpayers and shift that burden onto companies that profit from offshore energy development.
During the hearing, Ranking Member Gluesenkamp Perez highlighted US efforts to increase energy independence and the importance of holding oil and gas companies accountable for environmental degradation.
“While we transition to more sustainable and cost-effective renewable energy, we still need oil and gas in the meantime. Unfortunately, the process of extracting it comes with significant tradeoffs, particularly for coastal communities,” said Ranking Member Gluesenkamp Perez. “It is essential that our regulations address the real costs of offshore drilling and ensure those costs are borne by the companies that profit from the practice – not the taxpayer and coastal economies.”
Offshore oil and gas production can impact many coastal communities that rely on commercial fishing, aquaculture, or tourism. In the past year, several regulatory agencies have proposed rules to mitigate the environmental and safety hazards associated with offshore drilling and ensure energy companies are accountable for environmental cleanup efforts.
During the hearing, small business owners testified on the potential harm offshore drilling would cause their business and the need for environmental protections for coastal communities.
“I do not support reduced regulations of offshore energy at the risk of the livelihoods of our rural communities. Shellfish is a sustainable seafood that has a huge benefit to the ecosystem by purifying the waters, reducing carbon and providing essential ecosystem services to the estuaries in which they are farmed,” said Kathleen Nisbet Moncy, COO of her family’s business, Goose Point Oyster in Bay Center, Washington. “Our fishing communities must retain the available fishing grounds for the success of their industry. We must stand up and protect our waters from contamination and be responsible stewards of these delicate ecosystems for future generations.”