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Neal Statement on Trump Administration's Plan to Lift Offshore Drilling Ban

January 5, 2018
Press Release

(WASHINGTON) Congressman Richard E. Neal released the following statement today in strong opposition the Trump Administration’s plan to open nearly the entire U.S. coastline to offshore drilling by oil and gas companies, including previously protected waters. The proposal would overturn a permanent ban on offshore drilling in much of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans announced by President Barack Obama in December 2016.Both Democratic and Republican governors of costal states including New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Washington and Oregon have also expressed their concern about the decision to lift the offshore drilling ban.

“I am strongly opposed to this reckless plan to put our pristine oceans, coastlines, wetlands and estuaries at risk to offshore oil and gas drilling. Our oceans are national treasures that need to be preserved and protected for future generations. Like most Americans, I still remember the Deep Water Horizon spill which dumped 210,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Eight years later, the people in the Gulf region are still dealing with the long-tern effects of what has been called America’s worst environmental disaster.  We cannot afford to have history repeat itself off the New England coastline, or anywhere in the Atlantic, Pacific or Artic oceans.

Keeping our environment clean and safe should not be a partisan issue. And that is why I support the effort by Democrats and Republicans to stop this ill-advised plan to open nearly all U.S. coastal waters to off shore drilling. Not only are the oceans a great source of recreation, but they are a significant driver of economic growth on both coasts. The tourism, fishing, housing and aquaculture industries generate billions of dollars each year, but they depend on a clean and healthy ocean ecosystem. I believe this risky proposal would harm local economies, jeopardize military training and threaten our environment,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.