The following statement from David Moulton, senior director of legislative policy for The Wilderness Society, is in response to the House of Representatives passing H.R. 6082, a bill to open up American waters to offshore oil and gas drilling.
“In what has become a hallmark theme with this Congress, they are trying to upend reasonable policy from the Department of Interior – this time about drilling off our coasts – and replace it with reckless policies that benefit only the oil and gas industry. The Department of Interior’s plan for offshore oil and gas drilling is not perfect, but it at least kept the waters of Bristol Bay and the Pacific and Atlantic coasts off limits. The waters of Bristol Bay, for example, which hosts the richest wild sockeye salmon runs on the planet, are too important an economic resource to put at risk from oil and gas drilling.
“Apparently not content with doing nothing after the worst oil spill in American history destroyed the fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico, Congress wants to risk the fishing industry in Bristol Bay as well. Commercial fishing in Bristol Bay and surrounding waters is a more than $2 billion per year industry, and would be threatened by oil and gas drilling that would be valued at less than a tenth of that.
“President Obama has already threatened to veto this bill if it ever makes it to his desk. Threatening more coasts - and an entire fishing industry - with oil spills is not a good policy for America.”