Senator calls on President Obama to use authority under Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently protect both coasts
Washington (November 18, 2016) – Today, the Obama administration released its 5-Year Offshore Oil Drilling Plan, including protections for both the Atlantic and Arctic coasts from offshore oil and gas drilling. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee praised the announcement after leading the fight in the Senate to protect the East Coast from drilling. In October, Senators Markey and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) led a group of 12 other senators in calling on President Obama to use his authority under Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) to permanently protect the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans from offshore oil and gas drilling.
“Today, President Obama and Secretary Jewell have put the interests of millions of Americans ahead of those of Big Oil,” said Senator Markey. “The Atlantic Coast is both a natural wonder and economic engine, generating hundreds of billions in economic activity and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs. When oil companies already possess area offshore the size of Kentucky yet to be drilled, there is no need to put our fishing and tourism industries on the East Coast and the fragile environment of the Arctic Ocean at risk of an offshore oil spill.
“President-elect Trump has vowed to remove restrictions on drilling on and offshore. That will put the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans in the crosshairs of the oil industry President Obama should use his authority under Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently protect these oceans from offshore drilling and ensure a legacy of commitment to these natural resources.”
In March 2015, Senator Markey and eleven Democratic Senators wrote to the Interior Department urging it not to include the East Coast in the administration’s next five-year offshore drilling plan.