OLD ORCHARD BEACH – State Senator Justin Chenette has filed an emergency resolution demanding Congress exempt Maine from possible offshore oil drilling.
This comes after U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, announced plans to expand future oil and gas leasing to the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans, as well as the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
“As the Senator representing coastal communities of Old Orchard Beach and Saco, I don’t want our pristine environmental and economic resource threatened because of incompetence and short-sightedness from the White House,” says Chenette. “Imagine the impact to our lobstering and fishing industry, tourism, not to mention the health of residents and animals alike if there was a major oil spill off Maine’s coast.”
The resolution would have the state legislature officially ask Congress to exempt Maine from the new plan.
Maine’s bipartisan congressional delegation opposes offshore drilling in Maine and have just recently come together to introduce legislation called the New England Coastal Protection Act. This would prohibit oil and gas extraction activities off New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Governor Paul LePage, however, supports the Trump administration’s plan to drill off Maine’s coast and help line the pockets of the oil executives.
Chenette’s emergency resolution would have to be pre-approved by the Legislative Council before being sent to the full House and Senate for a vote.
Rep. Justin Chenette
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