Massachusetts AG Healey Joins Anti-Ocean-Drilling Lawsuit

Printed from:

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is joining a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s Department of Commerce to try to stop seismic testing for offshore drilling for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean.

The lawsuit, filed by Maryland’s attorney general, is also joined by the attorneys general of Connecticut, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina. All are Democrats.

“Approving these blasting tests paves the way for the Trump Administration to open up the Atlantic coast to drilling and poses a severe threat to our coastal communities, our fishing industry, and the health of the ocean,” Healey said in a written statement Thursday. “Today we are suing to stop this reckless plan that allows the oil and gas industry to destroy fishing families, local businesses, and marine life.”

In April 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order opening up areas in the Atlantic to drilling where President Barack Obama ordered in December 2016 that no drilling take place.

At the time, administration officials said they thought it would take two years to review which areas could be made available for public bid.

Supporters say the ocean holds promising areas for providing America with needed fuel.

Opponents worry about the effect on the environment and fisheries.

Healey’s press release Thursday quotes several political and business leaders in Massachusetts as opposing drilling, including the mayor of New Bedford, Jon Mitchell, and the heads of the New England Aquarium, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, the Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod, the Fishing Partnership Support Services, and the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives’ Association.