NRCM news release
June 3, 2019 (Augusta, ME) — The Maine House of Representatives today passed a bill (LD 955) to ban offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration in Maine’s ocean waters.
In January 2018, the U.S. Department of Interior proposed to vastly expand offshore drilling and exploration, including off the coast of Maine, prompting more than 250 coastal Maine business owners and four chambers of commerce to oppose the plan. Thousands of residents submitted comments in opposition to the proposal and Maine’s entire Congressional delegation joined with other New England Senators and Representatives to introduce bills to block offshore oil and gas drilling off the coast of New England.
The Natural Resources Council of Maine issued the following statement from Federal Outreach Coordinator Kristin Jackson in response to the House of Representative’s 96-45 vote:
“We are pleased to see the Maine House of Representatives vote to prohibit offshore oil and natural gas drilling and exploration. This position is consistent with the overwhelming opposition of Maine people and coastal businesses who know that oil drilling in the Gulf of Maine could be disastrous to Maine’s tourism and fishing economies.
“The state of Maine has nothing to gain and everything to lose from offshore drilling. It would expose our economy, health, and wildlife to significant new threats of oil pollution and seismic testing. We’re glad to see the Maine Legislature take this step in protecting our coastal economy and environment.”
LD 955 is sponsored by Representative Michael Devin (D-Newcastle) and will now head to the Maine Senate for a vote. New York and NH have passed similar bills, and MA is considering one.
Read Kristin’s testimony in support of LD 955.