Sarbanes Votes to Protect Maryland’s Coastline from Offshore Drilling

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass three bills in the U.S. House of Representatives that would protect coastlines in Maryland and across the country, along with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, from oil and gas drilling.

“Reckless decisions by the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans to expand offshore drilling along our coastlines pose serious risks to local economies, to public health and to marine ecosystems and wildlife,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who as Co-Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force has forcefully pushed back against efforts by the Trump Administration to expand offshore drilling along Maryland’s coastline and along the Atlantic coast.

“In the midst of a global climate crisis, we cannot afford to bow down to dirty polluters,” Sarbanes continued. “House Democrats will continue fighting for the people and blocking Big Oil and Gas from threatening the health, vitality and economic output of America’s coastlines.”

The House-passed bills include:

  • The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act (H.R. 1941), which permanently blocks new offshore drilling projects along the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines;
  • The Protecting and Securing Florida's Coastline Act (H.R. 205), which permanently blocks new offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; and
  • The Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act (H.R. 1146), which repeals a provision of the GOP Tax Scam that opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas development.

Offshore oil and gas drilling operations expose coastal communities to the economic risks and adverse environmental impacts of oil spills. Less than a decade ago, the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010 spilled more than five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and resulted in the loss of at least $7.6 billion in tourism revenues across the region.