Reichert urges Trump administration to keep Atlantic and Pacific oceans off limits to new oil and gas leases

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, this week led a bipartisan group of more than 100 members of the House of Representatives in urging Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to reject proposals to open the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Regions to new offshore drilling and oil exploration.

“Instead of pursuing policies that could create long-term harm to the Pacific Ocean and Washington’s shorelines as well as many businesses along the coast, we must embrace renewable energy solutions of the future,” Reichert said. “I hope the administration chooses to support the many innovative minds across Washington State and the country as we move toward developing efficient and cost effective alternative renewable energy technologies.”

Zinke is examining the U.S. offshore oil and gas leasing program pursuant to the terms of an executive order signed by President Trump on April 28. The executive order directed the Department of the Interior to review and potentially re-start the oil and gas lease sale planning process – possibly including the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.

Thanks to years of effort and input from coastal members of Congress, state and local governments, coastal businesses, and concerned citizens, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts has been protected from new offshore drilling and exploration in the current 2017-2022 leasing program, according to a Reichert news release..

The letter – signed by more than 100 members of Congress – is co-led by Congressmen Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), and Mark Sanford (R-SC), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Anthony Brown (D-MD) and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA).

Read the letter here.