WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive order that instructs the Department of the Interior to review and potentially revise the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (Five-Year Plan), finalized in November 2016, to open Arctic waters and parts of the Atlantic Ocean to increased oil and gas drilling.
“Today’s executive order is entirely unnecessary. The existing Five-Year plan finalized just months ago by the Obama Administration was the result of extensive public input and research. Moreover, the plan already makes more than 45 billion barrels of oil available. Reopening this plan that has undergone rigorous scrutiny by both experts and the communities that will be most impacted by increased drilling is without merit and stands in stark contrast to President Trump's promises to listen to local input.
“Expanding drilling in one part of the Atlantic could put our vibrant coastal communities and our entire coast at risk. Like we saw seven years ago with Deepwater Horizon, oil spills do not respect state boundaries. A spill anywhere along the East Coast could easily affect our pristine Delaware beaches and our coastal communities that rely on fishing, tourism and recreational activities to drive their local economies. Since the environmental and financial costs from such a disaster can be felt for generations, we need to really think about what kind of environment we want to leave for our children and grandchildren.
“Tomorrow, concerned citizens from across the country and around the world will be marching to the White House to bring attention to the very real threats that so many communities are facing as a result of climate change. When it comes to meeting our country’s energy needs, we cannot be narrow-minded or wed to the dirty fossil fuels of the past. We should instead be looking to the future and pursuing sustainable energy policies that make America a global leader for years to come.”