WASHINGTON, DC – After the Trump Administration announced a plan to vastly expand offshore drilling and repeal critical safety regulations, U.S. Senator Jack Reed issued the following statement:

“The Trump Administration’s offshore drilling plan is bad for the environment and public health and could harm coastal communities from the Atlantic to the Arctic Ocean.  With this controversial decision to loosen safety regulations and vastly expand offshore drilling, President Trump is selling out to big oil and opening up the eastern seaboard to considerable risk.  We have seen the destruction that an oil spill can cause.  This decision benefits Big Oil, but it could seriously harm the American public and coastal states like Rhode Island.  I will do everything I can to oppose this short-sighted decision and protect our waters.  Congress should work on a bipartisan basis to defeat this bad proposal.”

Senator Reed has cosponsored legislation such as the Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act to prohibit the U.S. Department of Interior from issuing leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas in the North, Mid, or South Atlantic Ocean.

Preventing drilling in the Atlantic Ocean is critical to protecting the $95 billion coastal economy and the 1.4 million jobs that rely on it.  It is also key to preserving essential ecosystems and confronting the threat of climate change.  Currently, over 120 municipalities, 1,200 elected officials, and a group of over 41,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families up and down the coast have publicly opposed offshore drilling and associated exploration.