Environment Virginia Research and Policy Center
The Trump administration has proposed opening much of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans off the U.S. coast to offshore oil and gas drilling. The environmental dangers posed by offshore oil spills, such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, are well known. The damage to the environment, communities and public health from the onshore infrastructure needed to support offshore drilling is less well known, but no less real.
Offshore drilling relies on onshore pipelines, waste disposal facilities, ports and refineries that endanger public health by polluting the air and water, and threaten wildlife and ecosystems.
State leaders should protect coastal communities and the environment by blocking any expansion or construction of onshore infrastructure that enables offshore drilling.
The onshore infrastructure needed to support offshore drilling has serious impacts on the environment, public health and coastal communities.