Cantwell Calls for Removal of Pacific Northwest Waters from Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

Washington, D.C.  – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the leading Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement:

“Offshore oil and gas development poses a direct threat to Washington state jobs in coastal communities like Grays Harbor, Ilwaco, Aberdeen, and Port Angeles. The Washington coast economy relies on healthy, sustainable oceans which support fisheries, seafood processing, recreation, shipbuilding, trade, transportation, and tourism.

“Suddenly excluding certain states from future consideration, while Washington state has long been united in opposition to oil and gas production off our coast, is arbitrary, short-sighted, and inconsistent with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.  

“Pacific Northwest waters should be removed from any further consideration of the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024.”

Earlier today, Cantwell wrote to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blasting his decision to exclude Florida from future oil and gas activities while ignoring the local voices of the Governors and states that formally requested their coasts be excluded from future oil and gas leasing activities. Cantwell’s letter demanded that all emails, letters, or other forms of correspondence between the Department of Interior and the State of Florida regarding the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program be turned over for review by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.   

Cantwell has long opposed offshore oil and gas development and drilling. In 2017, Cantwell, along with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), introduced the West Coast Ocean Protection Act to permanently prohibit offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf off of Washington, Oregon, and California.

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