Washington, DC –(ENEWSPF)—February 22, 2018
By: Gabby Brown
This afternoon, DC residents and District officials gathered to send a strong message of opposition to the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan.
In early January, Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released a draft offshore drilling plan that proposed an unprecedented expansion of offshore drilling into nearly all of America’s waters. DC residents attended the administration’s public hearing on the draft plan to highlight the threats offshore drilling poses to America’s coasts, climate, marine ecosystems, and the health and economic well-being of our communities.
The administration has held similar hearings in coastal states, and crowds of coastal residents have gathered and rallied at every one to express opposition to drilling off their coasts. The comment period on the draft plan closes on March 9.
“The Trump administration’s reckless effort to expose 90% of America’s coasts to the dangers of offshore drilling has been met with strong, bipartisan opposition for good reason,” said Sierra Club Lands Protection Program Director Athan Manuel. “Expanding offshore drilling would put our coasts, our climate, and our communities at risk, all for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry. From DC to Anchorage, they’re going to hear the same message wherever they go: Americans want all of our coasts protected from offshore drilling.”
Karl A. Racine, Attorney General of the District of Columbia, said, “Protecting the environment for District of Columbia residents is one of our office’s most important duties – and this reckless offshore drilling plan would negatively affect the Chesapeake Bay, our own Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, and the health and welfare of the entire region. We oppose this plan.”
“The draft offshore leasing plan continues the Trump administration’s all-out assault on public lands and waters,” said Trip Van Noppen, President of Earthjustice. “It puts irreplaceable wildlife and coastal communities at risk for the sole benefit of Big Oil, and it takes us in exactly the wrong direction on the urgently needed transition to a clean energy future.”
“From ocean views scattered with drilling platforms, to the industrialization of our coastal communities, to the unacceptable risk of more BP Deepwater Horizon-like disasters – expanding offshore drilling to new areas threatens thriving coastal economies and booming industries like tourism, recreation and fishing that rely on oil-free beaches and healthy oceans,” said Diane Hoskins, campaign director at Oceana. “Coastal communities and states are outraged by this radical plan that threatens to destroy our clean coast economies.”
“These sham hearings ignore the strong public opposition to this reckless plan. But we’re here to say offshore drilling threatens wildlife, coastal communities and our climate,” said Center for Biological Diversity senior counsel Bill Snape, who came costumed as a polar bear named Frostpaw. “Popular beaches on the East and West coasts would be subjected to tourism-killing oil spills. Drilling in treacherous Arctic waters would set off a carbon bomb that could doom polar bears and other imperiled species to extinction.”
“Expanding extreme offshore energy development is a new chapter in the reckless giveaway of public lands and waters to the fossil fuel industry,” said Hallie Templeton, Senior Oceans Campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “Trump’s plan allows oil companies to drill in more areas of our oceans than ever, putting coastal communities and ecosystems at risk.”
“Our members live in the DC area, but we travel frequently to beaches up and down the Mid-Atlantic,” said Amy Bourne, Chair, DC Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. “The oil and gas economy and the tourism and recreation economy cannot coexist, so to gamble millions of existing coastal jobs for a few potential oil jobs is a terrible idea”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.