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VA Sierra Club: “Trump’s reckless plan for a drilling ‘do over’ must be rejected.”

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From the Virginia Sierra Club:

Trump Administration Releases Plan to Recklessly Expand Drilling off Atlantic Coast

Today, Donald Trump’s Department of the Interior (DOI) released a draft of the proposed 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing program, ignoring the thousands of local businesses, 130 coastal municipalities, long bipartisan list of state and local lawmakers, and hundreds of thousands of beach lovers who each said “no” to drilling off the Atlantic coast.

In response, Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Director Kate Addleson, released the following statement:

Trump’s reckless plan for a drilling ‘do over’ must be rejected. This plan was hastily concocted, has no basis in science, employs faulty economics and blatantly disregards the flood of public opinion that strongly opposes opening the Atlantic Ocean to risky, dirty and unnecessary offshore drilling.

For over 30 years there has been a ban on drilling off our coast, and for good reason. A healthy, biodiverse environment is the lifeblood of our vibrant coastal economy, which depends entirely on clean beaches and ocean waters to sustain multi-billion dollar a year tourism, fishing and aquaculture industries that employs tens of thousands of Virginians.

The current plan was finalized by the Obama administration in November 2016, excluding the Atlantic coast and nearly the entire Arctic Ocean. Following the release of the plan and in response to the calls of coastal communities and millions of Americans across the country, President Obama acted under his authority designated by Section 12a of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently protect parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans from the threat of offshore drilling. The Trump administration’s plan to roll back these protections is reckless and untenable.

  • Governor-Elect Ralph Northam Statement on Trump Administration’s Offshore Drilling Plan

    RICHMOND – Governor-elect Ralph Northam released the following statement today following the Trump administration’s announcement it will expand offshore drilling off all U.S. waters, with potential to affect Virginia’s coast.

    “A commitment to preserving the health of Virginia’s coastline has fueled the growth of the New Virginia Economy—today’s announcement puts the progress we’ve made at risk. Expanding offshore drilling unnecessarily jeopardizes our economy, environment, national security, and the health and safety of our residents. All it takes is one exploration gone wrong to do immeasurable harm to major economic drivers including tourism, fishing, aquaculture, and our military installations.

    “As governor, I’ll join other governors in opposing this decision and continue my record of fighting for state-driven conservation solutions.”

  • Connolly Statement on the Trump Administration’s Move to Open Virginia’s Coast to Offshore Drilling

    Washington, D.C. – Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), co-chair of the House Green Dogs, released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to open Virginia’s coast to offshore oil and gas drilling:

    “President Trump’s plan to open Virginia’s coastline to drilling is reckless and a serious threat to all Virginians. Why would we risk our local economy, our pristine coastline, our booming tourism industry, and jeopardize the Defense Department’s presence in the region for a plan that would have no benefit to Virginia? Offshore drilling is too risky, and I will continue to work with my colleagues, Governor-elect Northam, and all stakeholders to oppose this decision.”

  • Trump Risks Virginia’s $8.3 Billion Ocean Economy in Reckless Offshore Drilling Move

    Harrison Wallace, Virginia Policy Coordinator at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, stated:

    President Trump’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management turned its back on coastal communities today when it offered up almost every bit of U.S. coastline for offshore drilling exploration. Since 2015, thousands of coastal citizens and over 140 coastal communities came out strongly against this dangerous drilling practice, yet President Trump’s administration has still decided to take on this reckless draft plan.

    Instead of risking the future of an ocean economy that contributes more than $8.3 billion to Virginia’s economy, we should be investing in more wind energy that would double the amount of jobs that offshore drilling could produce. The Trump administration’s decision could also interfere with Navy and NASA operations that take place off of Virginia’s coast, threatening our defense preparedness.

    As the effects of climate change ravage Virginia’s coast through stronger storms and increased recurrent flooding, the last thing we should do is attempt to extract even more fossil fuels. Secretary Zinke and the Trump Administration need to listen to the people and protect our climate, our coastline, and our communities.

  • Beyer on White House Drilling Announcement: “Trump Is Exposing Our Nation’s Coastal Communities and Environment to Unacceptably High Risks”

    January 4, 2018 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) issued the following statement today in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement that it would significantly expand leases for offshore drilling off all US coasts.

    “The Trump Administration’s decision to radically expand offshore drilling to nearly all US waters is yet another giveaway to the oil and gas industry, made over the objections of coastal communities, military leaders, and environmental organizations,” said Rep. Beyer. “Local, state, and federal leaders from both parties have been vocal in their opposition to this move. When taken with last week’s decision to reverse safety and enforcement rules put in place after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, Trump is exposing our nation’s coastal communities and environment to unacceptably high risks.”

    Rep. Beyer has been a fierce critic on the House Committee on Natural Resources of Trump’s moves to expand drilling off America’s coastlines. He has led bipartisan opposition to oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean, citing environmental consequences and opposition from coastal communities and military leaders.

  • KAINE STATEMENT ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OFFSHORE DRILLING DECISION

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to open nearly all United States waters to new oil and gas drilling, putting Virginia’s coastal communities at risk:

    “Opening the entire country’s waters to offshore drilling is wrong. Drilling would threaten our defense assets in Hampton Roads, and Virginians living near the coast tell me they don’t want it. A small business owner on the Virginia Beach boardwalk asked me to imagine what a BP-like oil spill would do to summer tourism. It’s not worth the risk. We should move forward with clean energy, not take a step backwards that will accelerate climate change.”

  • Quizzical
  • Jeff Staples

    President Obama waited way to long to make a decision on this matter and many others, such as the KXL Pipeline. If done earlier, these decisions would have been more entrenched and less likely to be overturned by the Trump Administration. I hope we can count on Gov.-Elect Northam to fight for us on the offshore drilling issue. He is not solidly pro-environment. The Sierra Club endorsed Northam wants to keep us within the confines of the Paris Climate Accords, but also is supportive of two fracked gas pipelines that would double Virginia’s carbon output.

    • Well said, couldn’t agree more.