2019-01-10 / News Briefs

Euer, Carson Seek to Ban Offshore Drilling

Sen. Dawn Euer and Rep. Lauren Carson, joining legislators from seven states on Jan. 8 via a national conference call, said they would file legislation to ban drilling off Rhode Island’s shore.

State legislators from Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Oregon will all be filing similar legislation.

“The state and our institutions have invested incredible resources on forward-thinking coastal policy initiatives. Opening up coastal waters to offshore drilling is short-sighted and puts our economy at great risk,” Euer said in a press release.

Former interior secretary Ryan Zinke, who stepped down this month amid numerous ethics investigations, announced a year ago the Trump administration’s intent to lift Obama-era protections blocking drilling of about 94 percent of the outer continental shelf, opening up nearly all the United States’ coastline to new oil drilling. A decision on the plan may be made by the end of this year.

In response, Carson and Euer swiftly filed the same legislation last year, which would ban the construction of oil terminals, platforms and any other equipment related to oil production onshore in Rhode Island, and would also ban oil drilling within the first three nautical miles from the shore, which is under state jurisdiction.

“These state legislators are committed to protecting the coastlines of the United States, and the safety and livelihood of their constituents,” said Jeff Mauk, executive director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

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