Cicilline Introduces New England Coastal Protection Act As Dems Renew Effort to Block Trump’s Offshore Drilling Effort

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Legislation will preserve waters from oil and gas drilling, provide critical environmental protections


WASHINGTON – Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01) today introduced the New England Coastal Protection Act of 2019 as Democrats announced a new effort to keep President Trump from turning back the clock on renewable energy. Cicilline’s introduction came ahead of similar state-level announcements that are being rolled out at 1pm today by the National Conference of Environmental Legislators.


“Rhode Island is the Ocean State. We’re not going to sit by and watch as President Trump plunders our oceans for his friends in the big oil companies,” said Cicilline. “It’s critical that we protect the jobs and economic growth that our coastline generates for cities and towns across Rhode Island. We don’t want oil and gas drilling just a few miles off our shores. This bill will make sure that never happens.”


The New England Coastal Protection Act will prohibit oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. It is co-sponsored by every U.S. House member from a New England coastal state. According to the Conservation Law Foundation, oceans and coastal industries, including tourism, fishing, and recreation, generate more than $17.5 billion in New England annually. Expanding drilling in the Atlantic would harm New England’s vital industries, and significantly increase the chances of environmental disaster in the region.


“Today’s bills are about a cleaner, more sustainable future for our country,” Grijalva said. “We can create clean energy jobs and protect our coastlines at the same time with the right policy choices. The American people don’t want oil rigs on every beach up and down our coasts, and our economy doesn’t need them. Doubling down on offshore drilling would be a huge mistake, and we’re proud to work together to make sure we take a better course.”


In addition to Cicilline’s bill, Democrats today are also introducing The Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act of 2019 (Pallone), The Coastal Economies Protection Act of 2019 (Cunningham), The California Clean Coast Act 2019 (Carbajal), The Florida Coastal Protection Act of 2019 (Castor), The West Coast Ocean Protection Act of 2019 (Huffman), and the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2019 (Huffman).


“The Trump administration has ignored the broad public outcry to stop its disastrous plan to open our coasts to the hazards and harms of offshore drilling.  Today members of congress from across the country are introducing legislation to protect our coasts, communities and climate.  The Trump administration should take note that it serves the public—not the oil industry—and abandon its reckless drilling plan once and for all,” said Alexandra Adams, Legislative Director, Nature Program, Natural Resources Defense Council.


“Not only must President Trump's radical offshore drilling plan contend with an outpouring of opposition from coastal tourism and fishing businesses as well as state and local elected officials from both parties up and down our coasts. Now he faces a new, pro-environment House of Representatives ready to advance legislation defending coastal economies and ways of life from the risks of oil spills and the increasingly deadly impacts of climate change exacerbated by expanded offshore drilling. We thank the sponsors of these bills for standing up for communities from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic and from the east coast to the west coast. For the sake of our communities, our health, and our climate, we must stop the expansion of offshore drilling and accelerate our transition to clean energy,” said Alex Taurel, Conservation Program Director, League of Conservation Voters.




DNC Twitter