Letter

printed 01/11/2019

Editor,

A few weeks ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) authorized several companies to harm marine mammals like dolphins and whales with seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean.

This dangerous and extremely loud exploration method is used by private companies to identify potential oil and gas deposits deep below the seafloor.

It’s great to see Congressman Andy Harris expressing his opposition to seismic airgun blasting for dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. As the congressman rightly points out, if this dangerous activity moves forward, “there is undoubtedly a risk to our coastal economy that relies so heavily upon tourism, fishing, and recreation.”

Having a champion in Congressman Harris against offshore drilling is great news for Maryland’s coast and all the businesses who rely on a healthy ocean for their livelihoods.

Protecting the entire Atlantic from offshore drilling is the only way to keep Maryland’s coast safe and it’s time for President Trump to reverse course on his radical offshore drilling plans.

Congressman Harris stands with hundreds of municipalities, thousands of businesses and all East Coast governors, including Governor Hogan who are all opposed to the Trump administration’s proposal for massive offshore drilling expansion.

The Atlantic Ocean has been protected from oil exploration and drilling for over thirty years and many business leaders are forcefully voicing their opposition to drilling in the Atlantic because they saw what happened to the tourism industry after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

As soon as the oil spilled, hoteliers began to experience booking cancellations, and tourists began to abandon vacation plans, even in areas without oiled beaches.

An oil spill knows no borders. A spill off the coast of one state could have devastating consequences for the ecosystems and economies of its neighbors.

Thank you, Congressman Harris, for taking a strong position against seismic airgun blasting for oil and offshore drilling. It’s great to have elected leaders like you standing up for the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland’s blue crabs and Ocean City business owners.

Diane Hoskins,

Oceana campaign director

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