Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Thompson joins with colleagues to stop open offshore drilling

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, Congressman Mike Thompson joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues in opposition of efforts to expand domestic offshore oil and gas drilling.

As they do each year, proponents of offshore drilling attempted to lift the current congressional moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) through amendments in an appropriations bill.

Thompson and his allies criticized this proposal as dangerous and unnecessary, and they urged their colleagues to vote against them. The amendments will be voted on in the next few days.

"Lifting the moratorium on new drilling could result in disastrous economic and environmental consequences," said Thompson. "Yet it will do nothing to reduce our dependency on oil and gas."

The moratorium on OCS drilling has been a bipartisan agreement in Congress for 25 years, and it has been renewed annually since 1982.

However, the moratorium has come under regular attack, which is why Thompson recently introduced a bill to permanently protect the North Coast from drilling.

The Northern California Ocean and Coastal Protection Act (H.R. 2758) will permanently prohibit oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.

"California's North Coast would be especially vulnerable if the moratorium was lifted," added Thompson. "Drilling off the North Coast would threaten our marine life and cause our local economy to suffer."

The North Coast is part of a unique upwelling zone, one of only four in the world. These zones support incredibly abundant and productive marine life, which local fishing communities depend on.

The North Coast also supports a large tourism industry vital to local and state economies that is dependent upon its pristine cove and beaches and spectacular views.

"Every year, there are attacks against the moratorium, and I'm afraid that one day it might be lifted," said Thompson. "An oil spill off our beautiful North Coast would be devastating. My bill will make sure that never happens."

On Thursday, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will review Thompson's bill.

Watch Rep. Mike Thompson speak on the House floor:,80_hflr062607_063.wmv&sTime=00:02:42.0&eTime=00:00:37&duration=00:02:55.0&UserName=anne%252E&sLocation=&sExpire=1.


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