The Trump administration has proposed putting oil rigs along every U.S. coastline. It’s a sweeping plan and it represents the most extreme fossil fuel assault on our nation’s public oceans—ever.
Congress will have a chance tomorrow to stop this egregious proposal in its tracks when the House Appropriations Committee begins its annual process to fund the government. Representative Pingree from Maine is poised to offer an amendment that would keep the Trump Administration from going forward with its plan to threaten every state, every citizen, and every coastline from the hazards and harms that come from expanded offshore drilling.
As members of the committee consider their vote, here are some factors they should keep front and center, especially coastal Members of Congress from Florida, New Jersey, and elsewhere who have already spoken against endangering their states. Now they have a chance to put their posture into meaningful action.
- Trump’s drilling agenda has been roundly panned by the public, editorial boards, and elected officials from both parties since day one. The picture is crystal clear: The public does not support expanded offshore drilling in its public waters.
- The Trump Administration has done a lot of public back-peddling and given mixed signals suggesting it may “spare” certain states, but no one should be fooled. There’s no bargain to be struck here: any expansion of offshore drilling is too much. Our public ocean waters—and all they support—are still going to have a bullseye squarely fixed on them unless the entire proposal is relegated to the dustbin of history.
The reason the plan threatens everyone is simple. It’s something every child knows: oil moves on water. In fact, oil spills can travel more than 1,000 miles from their point of origin, coating beaches, ruining fisheries, and devastating local economies every inch of the way. Burning oil produced offshore also affects everyone, by generating dangerous air pollution and carbon pollution that exacerbates climate change. That pollution doesn’t stop at artificial lines on a map. And neither do extreme weather events like hurricanes, sea-level rise, flooding, and heat waves that Americans are experiencing in unprecedented ways—in every state.
- The bottom line is all our elected officials have a stake in tomorrow’s vote and stopping offshore drilling. Whether you want to protect your constituents from mudslides, wildlfire, flooding, and asthma, or care most about the risk of oil spills to your local beaches, the vote must be the same: Just say “no” to Trump’s offshore agenda.
As a reminder that we all have a stake in what happens off our coasts, NRDC launched an ad highlighting the Administration’s dangerous offshore drilling plan and the impact it would have on every state, every citizen—whether in the Arctic Ocean, off the Atlantic coast, along California, or in the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s also a warning not to be duped by a backhanded strategy to carve up our public waters. As the ad suggests, we need to act “Before It’s Too Late.” We need to protect our coasts, communities and climate from the ravages of offshore drilling.
Here are three things you can do:
- Contact your Members of Congress and tell them it’s not good enough to oppose offshore drilling off their state. If they are serious about protecting their beaches and local economies, they are going to have to join together in numbers to reject the Trump plan—starting with tomorrow’s vote.
- If you live inland, urge your Members of Congress to do the same. None of us—Coloradans, Nevadans, Ohioans—should have to suffer the impacts of climate change and lose the chance to experience our nation’s still unspoiled coasts so the Trump Administration can peddle more oil to giant international conglomerates.
- Attend your elected official’s town halls and other public events and demand they oppose offshore drilling—off your beach, off your state, in your region, everywhere.
Tell President Trump we won’t be fooled again. Standing together—coast to coast—we can protect our oceans for future generations.