A recent Shell drilling accident in Canadian waters resulted in equipment breaking off and falling to sea floor


Washington (May 19, 2016) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) today sent a letter to the Department of State and Department of Interior expressing concern over Canada’s decision to allow offshore drilling off the coast of Canada and near Georges Bank, a highly productive area that straddles the maritime boundary between Canada and the United States. The Interior Department’s recently released 5-year offshore drilling plan protects the North Atlantic planning area, including the U.S. portion of Georges Bank, from offshore drilling. Congressman Seth Moulton (MA-06) is leading a similar letter in the House of Representatives.


“By allowing drilling off the Canadian coast, Canada’s actions could undermine the steps you have already taken to protect the Atlantic Ocean from the harmful consequences of offshore oil and gas development,” write the Senators in the letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “We are concerned that if drilling continues and proper safeguards are not in place, an accident at one of these drilling locations could significantly harm our Atlantic fisheries and ocean environment.”


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.


The United States has previously worked with oil companies and foreign governments regarding offshore drilling activities near our maritime boundaries, including negotiating an agreement with Mexico to develop offshore oil resources in the Gulf of Mexico in 2012, as well as working with Cuba before it commenced drilling off its coast.