Yesterday, the Department of Interior announced it will take the first step toward opening more of our ocean waters to dangerous offshore drilling. On Monday, the department will kick off the process of undoing protections put in place for the Arctic and Atlantic oceans under the five-year offshore drilling plan. The plan defines where and when the government may offer drilling leases in the nation’s ocean waters.
The Obama administration finalized the plan last year after a multi-year process that incorporated feedback from millions of people across America. The plan put the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans off-limits to drilling leases through 2022.
In response, Erik Grafe, Attorney in Earthjustice’s Alaska office, stated:
“Many across our country oppose expanded offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic. The current leasing plan—completed after millions weighed in—leaves those places off limits to expanded drilling. There is no good reason for the Trump administration to abandon this plan and replace it with something that will jeopardize our oceans for generations to come. We will resist this attempt to sacrifice the health of our coastal communities, wildlife and climate all for the benefit of the oil industry.”