Leadership in Atlanta, Georgia General Assembly join opposition to offshore drilling

Numerous cities and towns along the Georgia coast have already passed resolutions opposing offshore drilling in the Atlantic. (© One Hundred Miles)

After a seven-hour marathon meeting, the City of Atlanta unanimously voted to pass a resolution against offshore drilling and seismic testing this week.

SELC and our partners have been meeting with city and state leaders in an ongoing effort to amplify opposition to drilling off Georgia’s coast. In an op-ed last fall, SELC Senior Attorney Bill Sapp urged the City of Atlanta to stand with coastal communities.

Protecting the Georgia coast from new, risky fossil-fuel sources is also in line with the City of Atlanta’s goals to source 100 percent of its power from clean, renewable energy by 2035, and this week’s resolution takes that commitment one step further.

The Peach State’s largest city joins many of Georgia’s coastal communities that have already taken a stand against drilling, including Savannah, Brunswick, Tybee Island, St. Marys, Hinesville, and Kingsland.Also this week, a bipartisan group of state legislators dropped resolutions against offshore drilling in both houses of the Georgia General Assembly (SR 706 and HR 1041). Backing the bills were Reps. Carl Gilliard, Ron Stephens, Bill Hitchens, Sam Park, and Don Hogan; and Senators Lester Jackson and William Ligon, among others.

“We are thrilled that the Atlanta City Council and many of Georgia’s leaders stand with our coast and understand the statewide importance of this special region—our seafood, our pristine beaches, and the historic character of our coastal cities and port towns,” said Sapp.

A public listening session hosted by the federal agency overseeing offshore drilling leases is scheduled for Atlanta on February 28th. U.S. Congressman Buddy Carter has requested that a session be scheduled closer to his district on the coast, but there have not been any announcements indicating additional sessions are in the works.

The deadline to comment on the latest federal leasing plan for offshore drilling, which includes all the waters off Georgia along with the entire Atlantic coast, is March 9. For more information about submitting your comment, visit protectourcoastnow.com.

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