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September 11, 2019

Earthjustice Statement on House Bills Banning Offshore Drilling

House bills restore offshore leasing ban, protects coastal communities from dangerous drill rigs

Contacts

Maggie Caldwell, Earthjustice, mcaldwell@earthjustice.org, (415) 217-2084

Washington, D.C.

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1941 and H.R. 205, bills that together ban offshore drilling off the coasts of the Pacific, Atlantic, and parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice Legislative Counsel Marissa Knodel:

“These bills challenge President Trump’s irresponsible offshore leasing program that would turn our oceans into gas stations. Communities are bearing the dual burdens of the oil industry’s pollution and climate change. We applaud members of the House for exercising leadership to protect public waters and the planet, and hope these votes are a step towards protecting all of America’s oceans and coastal communities, including the rest of the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic. We urge the Senate to take up legislation to do the same.”

Background:

Earthjustice has several active cases challenging the Trump administration’s current offshore drilling operations and the unlawful expansion of offshore oil and gas leasing and exploration. This year Earthjustice won a challenge that struck down President Trump’s executive order to open the Arctic and parts of the Atlantic oceans to drilling. The non-profit environmental law organization has two active lawsuits challenging Gulf of Mexico lease sales that threaten wildlife, human safety, and coastal communities, and is challenging the administration’s rollback of the Well Control Rule. Earthjustice is partnering with nearly a dozen other groups to prevent seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean, an exploratory precursor to offshore drilling that can harm or kill marine wildlife. And last December, the organization challenged the Trump administration’s approval of Hilcorp Alaska’s controversial Liberty project, the first offshore oil drilling development in federal Arctic waters.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back health, safety and environmental regulations to advance corporate and polluter interests. In response, Earthjustice has filed more than 120 lawsuits to aggressively defend the protections that make our environment healthier and our communities safer. The federal courts have been handing Trump one loss after another, ruling that the administration cannot flout the requirements of existing environmental laws in order to help the energy industry.

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About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.