Northam slams Trump administration move to expand offshore drilling off Virginia coast

ralph northamThe Trump administration confirmed it is moving to expand offshore drilling by undoing President Obama’s December executive order designating the bulk of U.S.-owned waters in the Arctic Ocean and certain areas in the Atlantic Ocean, including Virginia, as indefinitely off limits to future oil and gas leasing.

The order comes one week after the seventh anniversary of the BP oil spill, one of the worst in U.S. history.

Expanding offshore drilling into now-restricted areas in the Atlantic would pose unacceptable risks to tourism, aquaculture, military operations, and NASA’s Wallops flight facility. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam spoke critically of the Trump administration moves on Tuesday.

“Opening up the Virginia coast for drilling would hurt our environment, economy, and people—but President Trump would do it anyway,” said Northam. “The only thing Donald Trump has accomplished in the most lackluster first one hundred days of any modern presidency is making his disdain for environmental conservation loud and clear. Virginia must take the lead on ensuring our natural resources and landscape can be enjoyed for generations to come, and continue to provide economic benefits to the communities where they are located. As governor, I’ll continue standing up to the threat of polluting our waters and preserving the health of our environment for years to come.”

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