Funding cut from Congress confirms growing drilling opposition

The House of Representatives has stepped in to block offshore drilling, sending a clear message to the Trump administration that the pursuit of oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean is against the wishes of a growing number of coastal communities and their elected leaders.

In an amendment to the appropriations bill, the House cut funding that the White House needs to move forward with its drilling plan. With this vote, drilling opponents have channeled broad, longstanding opposition to the administration’s risky and unpopular drilling plan into the political will to take action.

“For years now, coastal cities and towns have loudly and clearly sounded the alarm about offshore drilling and what it would do to their beaches and economies. Congress is starting to listen, and we thank the representatives who stood up for their communities,” said Senior Attorney Sierra Weaver, leader of the Coast and Wetlands Program.

The House appropriations amendment cuts drilling funding for one year, but could be renewed. The appropriations bill and the amendments go next to the Senate, which has not yet announced a date for a vote.

“This is the loudest and clearest signal yet that Congressional drilling opponents are ready and willing to stand against President Trump’s rush to endanger the Atlantic,” said Nat Mund, SELC’s director of federal affairs. “I hope the Senate has the same fortitude to protect the coast and the livelihoods of those who rely on clear water and clean beaches.”

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