The opposition to the Trump administration’s plan to expand offshore oil and gas drilling comes from every senator and representative in coastal New England.
by the Associated Press
Portland Press Herald news story
CONCORD, N.H. — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives from New England has introduced a bill to prohibit oil and gas drilling off the New England coast.
The New England Coastline Protection Act would prohibit oil and gas extraction activities off New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
It’s a response to the Trump administration’s plan to open nearly all U.S. coastlines to offshore oil and gas drilling.
The legislation introduced Thursday is co-sponsored by every senator and U.S. representative from the coastal New England states. They say the plan threatens coastal communities, fisheries and the economy.
Maine’s Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King issued a statement Thursday saying, in part, “With our environment so closely tied to the vitality of Maine’s economy, we cannot risk the health of our ocean on a shortsighted proposal that could impact Maine people for generations.”
Collins and King told Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a letter Monday that “the risk of harm from oil and gas drilling off Maine’s coast far outweighs any potential benefit.”
Maine Gov. Paul LePage supports the proposal to examine offshore energy opportunities all along the Outer Continental Shelf, but his office said Monday that the governor expects “significant regions will be excluded from the final plan” in response to concerns raised during the public process.