BY: Landry Harlan | April 16, 2018
Island environmental groups and state legislators are strongly opposing a plan by the Trump administration to open up North Atlantic waters to offshore oil and gas exploration.
The five-year drilling plan announced in early January by the U.S. Department of the Interior calls for drilling along East Coast federal waters from Georgia to Maine, including waters off Massachusetts.
The Martha’s Vineyard Commission has gone on record early against the idea of drilling.
“Opening our coast to drilling and the potential for a dangerous spill is a reckless threat to our region,” wrote MVC executive director Adam Turner in a recent letter to Gov. Charlie Baker. “Any oil spill, even in a limited quantity, will have serious consequences to the Island and the region.”
Mr. Turner said he wanted to make it clear to the governor early on that the commission is opposed to the proposal.
“I’m concerned about what safeguards are in place to avoid an oil spill or contamination in the water,” Mr. Turner said. “What’s the impact on wildlife?”
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has also opposed the plan, saying that the drilling could threaten the state’s $7.3 billion fishing industry and 1,500 miles of coastline and raising the prospect of taking legal action.
“Massachusetts does not want drilling off our coast and I will fight this proposal to defend our state and our residents,” the Attorney General said in comments sent to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
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