Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz Joins Over 200 State Legislators United Against Offshore Oil Drilling

March 5, 2018

In response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of increasing offshore oil and gas drilling, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and 226 colleagues of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators signed a letter to be delivered to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. The signatures represent legislators from 17 coastal states who oppose the draft oil and gas leasing program.

This leasing program seeks to make a majority of the United States Outer Continental Shelf open to oil and gas exploration and construction, representing the first time in decades that many states’ coasts would be exposed to such development and potential harm. New York State currently has a ban on hydraulic fracturing, a highly invasive and destructive method of extracting natural gas and oil from shale rock.

“Our country needs to be moving away from its dependence on fossil fuels, not towards it. Not only is this proposal a perpetuation of our overreliance on these fuels and the accompanying carbon emissions, but also it is a lack of progress towards truly renewable and sustainable energy. New York State, along with many other states, is doing our part to mitigate future damages from climate change symptoms. This administration needs to get with the program,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx).

“These state legislators are committed to protecting the coastlines of the United States,” said Jeff Mauk, Executive Director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. “They understand the economic and environmental importance of our coasts and are standing together against this proposal.”

Coastal tourism, fisheries, shipping, and defense are not only critical economic drivers in some states, but are the underpinning of all U.S. coastal states’ economies. NOAA reports that coastal communities alone provide 45 percent of our nation’s gross domestic product. Furthermore, California, Oregon, and Washington combined represent the fifth largest economy in the world, a level of prosperity that would not be achieved without their ocean-dependent industries. It is clear that U.S. coastlines are a fundamental part of the nation’s economic activity and would be threatened by the offshore drilling plan.

The full text of the letter is available here.