Press Release

December 20, 2016
Cardin Lauds Effort to Permanently Block Oil and Gas Drilling on the Atlantic Coast
"Drilling anywhere on the Atlantic Coast is a threat everywhere on the Atlantic Coast."

BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, praised President Barack Obama’s action to permanently protect the Atlantic Coast from the threats of oil and gas drilling. The action under Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) comes shortly after Senator Cardin and a dozen of his colleagues urged the president to take this necessary step to preserve the fragile ecosystem and the economy of the Atlantic Coast.

“For years, I have strongly opposed plans to expand drilling operations off the Atlantic Coast. This final act should permanently end any and all misguided attempts to endanger the economic viability and environmental health of the region. Oil spills and the damage associated with seismic exploration do not respect state boundaries, making drilling anywhere on the Atlantic Coast a threat everywhere on the Atlantic Coast,” said Senator Cardin. “I thank President Obama for recognizing that repeated short-term measures to protect the Atlantic were not sufficient because the risks simply outweigh any potential benefits associated with drilling off the Atlantic Coast.”

A copy of the Senators’ letter recent to President Obama can he found here. In the letter, the Senators argue that the environment and economies of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans would be threatened if offshore oil drilling were allowed. Fishing and tourism on the East Coast generates hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs. The oil industry’s attempts to drill offshore in the Arctic have been riddled with safety lapses and mishaps, leading it to relinquish the bulk of the drilling leases that were held in the Arctic Ocean.

A member of the EPW committee since he arrived in the Senate, Senator Cardin has long been a leading voice calling on the Obama administration to abandon plans to drill off the Atlantic Coast. In April of 2015, he introduced legislation to prevent offshore drilling in the region.