Funding cut reveals growing drilling opposition

WASHINGTON -- 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. This is the clearest signal yet that drilling opponents in the House have the numbers needed, and the political will, to challenge the administration’s risky and unpopular drilling plan.

In response, SELC released the following statements:

“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.” – SELC Senior Attorney Sierra Weaver, leader of the Coast and Wetlands Program.

“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. 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.” – Nat Mund, SELC’s director of federal affairs.

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.

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For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With more than 80 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org

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