Members of Congress to Trump Administration: Don’t Allow Oil Drilling in the Arctic Ocean
Washington, D.C.- Today, Rep. Huffman (D-San Rafael) led 69 members of Congress in urging Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to protect the Arctic Ocean from dangerous activities by the oil & gas industry and exclude all new Arctic Ocean lease sales from any future offshore drilling plan.
Under the 2017-2022 Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which was finalized in 2016 under President Barack Obama, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) decided not to include any new lease sales in the Arctic Ocean. Trump administration officials have made it clear, however, that they intend to revise that offshore drilling plan and expand oil and gas drilling.
“As you conduct a review of our nation’s existing oil and gas leases, we again strongly urge you to reject proposals to open new offshore areas to drilling and exploration off our coasts including the Arctic Ocean,” wrote the lawmakers. “The risks are simply too high, and the consequences too severe. It is time to preserve and protect this vital part of America’s national heritage for future generations.”
The Arctic Ocean is a vulnerable region that would pose unique and unacceptable threats for drilling. BOEM itself identified a 75% likelihood of such a spill occurring. Even worse, any development in the Arctic Ocean would take place approximately 1,000 miles from the nearest U.S. Coast Guard station, throwing one of the world’s most fragile ecosystems into jeopardy.
Rep. Huffman has been a leader in the fight to protect the Arctic Ocean from future drilling. You can read more about his work here.
In addition to Rep. Huffman, the letter was cosigned by Representatives: Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Barbara Lee (D-CA), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Jerold Nadler (D-NY), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Peter Welch (D-VT), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Bill Foster (D-IL), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Don Beyer (D-VA), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Anthony Brown (D-MD), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Diana DaGette (D-CO), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), John Yarmuth (D-KY), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), David E. Price (D-NC), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), John Garamendi (D-CA), José E. Serrano (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL), Grace Meng (D-NY), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Ruben J. Kihuen (D-NV), Alma Adams (D-NC), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), William R. Keating (D-MA), and Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI).
The full text of the letter can be found HERE.