Green groups, Sen. Jeff Merkley rally to protect oceans and stop new drilling

Media Contacts
Rachel Richardson

Environment America

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the Obama administration holds a public hearing on expanding offshore drilling to the Arctic and parts of the Gulf of Mexico, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), frontline communities, and more than a dozen green groups including Environment America will rally outside to oppose the plan.

The rally followed a partial victory for clean energy and ocean advocates last month, when the administration removed the Atlantic Ocean from its 2017-2022 drilling plan, but left new leases proposed for the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean.

Today citizens urged the administration to drop plans for new drilling in the upcoming five-year oil and gas leasing program; permanently end new leases for offshore drilling; and initiate a plan to transition the Gulf of Mexico to clean, renewable energy.

“More drilling and spilling would worsen the climate crisis; threaten the fragile Arctic; and further harm the Gulf, which still suffers after the devastation of the BP disaster,” said Rachel Richardson, Environment America’s Stop Drilling program director. “President Obama has done right by the Atlantic. Now he should do right by the Gulf, the Arctic, and our kids’ future by dropping plans for new drilling and keeping all fossil fuels in the ground.”

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