Deepwater

US Senators from East Coast have introduced a bill preventing any leases to be issued for exploration in the Atlantic.

The Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (Coast) Anti-Drilling Act is being introduced by senators Bob Menendez, Jack Reed, Cory Booker, Edward Markey, Sheldon Whitehouse, Richard Blumenthal, Ben Cardin, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Barbara Mikulski.

It prevents the US Department of Interior (DOI) from issuing leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas in the North, Mid, or South Atlantic Ocean.

Earlier this year, the DOI unveiled its draft strategy for the offshore Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing programme for 2017-2022. It includes 14 potential lease sales in eight planning areas.

The senators said the new legislation is being introduced to avoid short and long-term marine and coastal damage, and to protect and preserve shore economies.

"We shouldn’t put the Atlantic Coast in the crosshairs for another offshore oil spill, especially when the oil industry is pushing to export America’s oil abroad."

Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey said: "We’re introducing the Coast Act to help protect our local economies, marine life, the health of our shore residents and to tell Big Oil that America’s coastline is not for sale."

Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts "Five years ago, the BP spill marred the Gulf Coast with millions of barrels of oil.

"We shouldn’t put the Atlantic Coast in the crosshairs for another offshore oil spill, especially when the oil industry is pushing to export America’s oil abroad."

US Congressman Frank Pallone and 13 co-sponsors have also introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.


Image: The senators said they cannot risk another Deepwater Horizon-like accident. Photo: Public Domain.