Washington, D.C. Becomes Largest City to Formally Oppose Offshore Drilling and Seismic Airgun Blasting | Oceana

Washington, D.C. Becomes Largest City to Formally Oppose Offshore Drilling and Seismic Airgun Blasting

Press Release Date: February 3, 2016

Location: Washington, D.C.


Anna Baxter | email: abaxter@oceana.org
Anna Baxter

Today, the Washington, D.C. City Council voted unanimously to oppose offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. Washington, D.C. is the largest city to formally oppose such activities, joining Baltimore, MD, Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC and Wilmington, NC, among others. To view the full list of opposition, please visit www.StopTheDrill.org.  

Claire Douglass, campaign director at Oceana, applauded Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (D.1) for introducing the resolution and issued the following statement:

“Washingtonians know the impacts of climate change and the importance of healthy waterways, as evidenced by our commitment to renewable energy and cleaning up our watersheds. President Obama’s proposal, which would allow offshore oil rigs off the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, is a clear step backwards for our nation and puts our most vulnerable citizens at even greater risk from the impacts of climate change.

Business leaders, town councils and fishery management groups, representing millions of citizens, are taking unprecedented action to protect the health of our coast and our way of life from the oil industry, as part of one of the biggest grassroots movements this region has ever seen. Just last week, 75 coastal leaders were in Washington to participate in Oceana’s Coastal Voices Summit – to urge their elected officials and President Obama to protect the East Coast from offshore drilling. Yet, southeast Governors are clamoring to open our coast to offshore oil and gas exploration and development, including Virginia’s Terry McAuliffe who continues to call for faster approval of seismic airgun permits.

As a District of Columbia native, I couldn’t be more proud to add my extraordinary city and home to the growing list of municipalities that oppose offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting. Not only is this resolution a powerful declaration to Big Oil that the Atlantic is not for sale, it also sends a clear message to coastal communities on the front lines that the District of Columbia is on their side, even if the federal government isn’t.”

Currently, the Obama administration is considering opening a large swath of the Atlantic to offshore drilling, spanning from Virginia to Georgia. At the same time, the federal government is considering the use of seismic airguns to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor in an area twice the size of California, stretching all the way from Delaware to Florida. 

Coastal opposition to these activities continues to mount. As of today, 104 East Coast municipalities, 100 Members of Congress, over 660 state and local elected officials and roughly 750 business interests have all publically opposed offshore drilling, citing threats to marine life, coastal communities and local economies. Along the Atlantic coast, nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in gross domestic product rely on healthy ocean ecosystems, mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation.

To watch Oceana’s short video about the growing opposition to Atlantic drilling, please visithttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfugAV7BWoE.

For more information, please visit www.StopTheDrill.org.