Virginia Drilling Plan Suspended Indefinitely by Department of Interior
Press Release Date: May 6, 2010
Location: Washington, D.C.
Oceana issued the following statement from senior campaign director Jacqueline Savitz today following a decision by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that will indefinitely suspend the sale of lease 220 for offshore oil and gas production on Virginia’s coast.
“Oceana thanks Secretary Salazar for indefinitely suspending the sale of this lease for oil and gas exploration and development off the coast of Virginia. It has never been more clear that offshore oil and gas production is a dirty and dangerous business and that our ability to prevent and contain spills has not kept pace with our ability to access oil below ocean waters.
Today’s decision is a major win for the east coast, as a spill similar to the Deepwater Drilling Disaster could impact many coasts and estuaries spanning from New Jersey to the Carolinas, including the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. A spill could destroy beaches and coastal economies from the Jersey Shore to the Outer Banks, threatening important commercial and recreational fisheries for species such as oysters, clams and scallops. The myths that made offshore drilling attractive have now been fully debunked. It is clear that drilling is not safe and that it provides no benefits to the American people. Alternatives such as offshore wind power can provide more jobs and help solve climate change while never spilling.
Oceana commends the Secretary and the Obama Administration for their foresight in this matter. Oceana is also calling for a ban on all new offshore drilling, including any exploratory drilling throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, the West Coast of Florida and the fragile Arctic, to fully protect marine wildlife and coastal economies.”