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State Attorneys General Oppose New Offshore Drilling Plans

Attorneys general have been speaking out for months against Administration's steps towards opening up coasts for drilling

January 4, 2018
Contact: stateimpactcenter@nyu.edu

Washington, D.C. — David J. Hayes, executive director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law and former Interior deputy secretary in the Obama and Clinton Administrations, released the following statement on the announcement today by the Department of the Interior to expand oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico :

"Bipartisan state leaders have for years opposed new oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic, in the eastern Gulf, and in the Pacific. There is no appetite for putting our magnificent coastal resources at risk of another oil and gas environmental disaster, particularly when so many economic interests such as fishing and tourism are at risk. State attorneys general have spoken clearly on this issue: they oppose opening up new areas for offshore drilling. Progressive attorneys general know that we should be focused on advancing the clean energy economy, and producing oil and gas from already-productive onshore fields -- rather than putting our beaches and oceans at risk of future oil spills."


State attorneys general have made clear their opposition to offshore drilling:

  • In July, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh led nine attorneys general in submitting comments to National Marine Fisheries Service opposing its proposal to conduct "disruptive and harmful" seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean. AGs from Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. submitted the letter. 
  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra called drilling off the coast of California "a non-starter" in comments submitted to the Department of the Interior in August. In April, AG Becerra said, "We will vigorously oppose new drilling off the shores of our coast."
  • In August, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey submitted comments to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management opposing the agency's effort to create a new five-year national offshore oil and gas leasing program. Healey promised to "fight back against these reckless moves by the administration that threaten our state’s prosperity and our precious natural resources.”

ABOUT THE STATE IMPACT CENTER: The State Energy & Environmental Impact Center is a non-partisan Center at the NYU School of Law that is dedicated to helping state attorneys general fight against regulatory rollbacks and advocate for clean energy, climate change, and environmental values and protections. It was launched in August 2017 with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. For more information, visit http://www.law.nyu.edu/centers/state-impact.