May 17, 2022

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Hoyer Speaks Against Offshore Drilling

Offshore Drilling

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer spoke recently on the House floor to support three bills that will block oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Congressman Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) said he rises in strong support of the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), and the two others in September. All three are bipartisan bills.

He said in his speech that a permanent moratorium on offshore oil and gas development in pristine, untouched areas will help protect ecosystems and economies all along the country’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

“The other bills we will be considering this week will prevent oil and gas drilling along the Gulf Coast of Florida and protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,” Congressman Hoyer said. “… If we fail to protect vulnerable coastal and arctic ecosystems, we put at risk the livelihoods of millions Americans in those communities that depend on their continued health and abundance.”

Congressman Hoyer discussed the importance of the pristine waters in coastal communities on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Gulf of Mexico. Tourism, outdoor recreation, and fishing are crucial to the economies in those regions.

“In Alaska, the Gwich’in people rely on the carefully balanced arctic ecosystem for hunting, fishing, and their ancient way of life. Drilling in these areas creates an unacceptable risk both to our environment and to the people who live in those communities,” he said.

“The United States is now the largest producer of oil and gas in the world. No one would have thought that possible even a decade ago, and yet here we are. Thanks to advances in technology, over the past six years we have doubled the amount of oil we export.

“All of that has been made possible without touching vulnerable environments like the Arctic Refuge or off the coast of my home state of Maryland,” he continued. “States up and down the Atlantic, including Maryland, oppose this move. We’ve seen what happens when something goes wrong, as was the case with the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. An oil spill making its way into the Chesapeake Bay and destroying our world-class fisheries or harming the beautiful beaches of Maryland’s Chesapeake and Atlantic shores would be devastating.”

He went on to stress the importance of reconfiguring the nation’s economy to meet the challenges of climate change and seize the opportunities from developing new clean energy technologies and leading the world in a transition to a low- and, eventually, zero-carbon economy.

“Our children and grandchildren deserve to inherit an earth and an America that is clean, healthy, and sustainable. We ignore the challenges of climate change and its effects at our peril,” he said.

Follow Congressman Hoyer on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader member page.

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