Members of Congress are seeking a moratorium on new offshore oil and gas drilling with an eye towards protecting their coasts, oceans and communities from the hazards it brings.
Seven members of Congress today introduced legislation in the House to block the Trump administration’s plan to hand our coasts over to the oil industry and expand drilling off of nearly every U.S. coastline:
- Representative Salud Carbajal (D-CA) is introducing a bill blocking drilling off the coast of California;
- Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL) is introducing a bill imposing a permanent moratorium on drilling in the South Atlantic, Straits of Florida and Eastern Gulf of Mexico;
- Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) is introducing a bill to prohibit leasing off of New England;
- Representative Joe Cunningham (D- SC) is introducing a bill that puts a 10-year moratorium on drilling off the Atlantic Coast and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico;
- Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) is introducing bills to prohibit drilling off the West Coast and in the Arctic Ocean;
- Representative Donald McEachin (D-VA) is introducing a bill banning drilling off the Mid-Atlantic coast;
- Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is introducing a bill to permanently ban offshore oil and gas development in the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Atlantic, Straits of Florida, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico planning areas.
We will have further details on these measures soon, many of which include a broad range of cosponsors and support. In addition to today’s comprehensive effort to protect our coasts, Representative Francis Rooney (R-FL) introduced a bill last week to permanently extend the moratorium on leasing in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior is expected in the coming weeks (give or take, depending on the government shutdown) to unveil a plan to auction off our nation’s public waters for expanded drilling. This time last year, DOI proposed drilling off of nearly every U.S. coastline.
Today’s legislative measures represent the latest move in a wave of bipartisan opposition to offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling. Citizens, local communities, elected officials across the political spectrum have made clear that the public does not support new drilling because the risks of harm to our coasts, communities and climate are simply too great. Today members of Congress took another step to protect their communities from those risks.