Friday 18 August 2017

Press Statements (57)

On August 16, 2017, on behalf of Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Assateague Coastkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance and more than 70 organizations, representing thousands of businesses and citizens, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) submitted comments asking the Trump Administration to reject offshore drilling in the Atlantic. SELC released this statement: The comments said “Opening the Atlantic to offshore oil and gas drilling poses a direct threat to the fragile and unique ecosystems of the southeast coast and to the millions of people whose livelihoods depend on our clean coastal resources.” The comments specifically argue against offshore drilling in the Southeast because: Coastal communities and governors in the region strongly oppose drilling on the coast; Drilling would harm the tourism and ocean economies along the coast; Drilling would threaten unique and sensitive shorelines, valuable salt marshes, barrier islands, productive marine habitats and fisheries, and numerous areas designated for state and federal protection; Drilling would conflict with many important uses for these ocean areas, including Department of Defense and NASA operations, commercial and recreational fisheries, and renewable energy development; Chronic pollution and the risk of catastrophic oil spills, especially given the lax oversight and regulatory environment, present too great of a threat to the Atlantic coast; The oil and gas industry’s economic projections are based on faulty assumptions that overestimate jobs and income, while discounting the existing tourism- and recreation-based economies; and The United States should invest in and develop clean, renewable energy sources instead of wasting resources on developing dirty energy sources. “There is overwhelming opposition…
Alarmed with the Potential Detriment to the Environment, Coalition Calls for Assessment, Rejection of TransCanada’s Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project Baltimore, MD — On Tuesday August 8, a letter signed by 18 state and local environmental organizations was delivered to Secretary Ben Grumbles of the Maryland Department of the Environment. The signatories demand that MDE use its authority to conduct a thorough evaluation of the potential environmental impacts of TransCanada’s proposed Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project pipeline. The letter suggests that once MDE diligently carries out its obligation to Marylanders to examine the full impacts, the agency will see no other option than to reject the proposed pipeline project. The letter asserts that MDE will find rejecting the project will be the only way to protect the health of Maryland’s waterways and communities. This four-mile pipeline would bring fracked gas from Pennsylvania to West Virginia, and would travel through Maryland, just west of Hancock. The proposed path of the pipeline crosses directly under the C&O Canal and the Potomac River, the primary drinking water source for more than 6 million people. The letter asks: We urge MDE not to rush through its review of this Project. Protection of Maryland’s streams, rivers, and wetlands is too important to place at risk. MDE must take the time needed to ensure it has all necessary information, review that information, give the public an opportunity to thoroughly review and comment on the information at a public hearing, and then conduct a thorough and transparent analysis of…
Historic Bill Will Protect Our Clean Water Resources Annapolis, MD - Today the Maryland Senate passed a statewide fracking ban bill, HB 1325, by a vote of 36 to 10. Maryland would be the third state to ban fracking, but the first state with gas reserves to pass a ban through the legislature. The passage of this bill comes on the heels of a massive statewide and people-powered campaign involving thousands of Marylanders in rallies, marches, petition deliveries, and phone calls to legislators. The bill now goes to the desk of Governor Hogan, who is expected to sign it after he announced his support for the ban earlier this month. “Waterkeepers across the region applaud the vote today in the Maryland Senate to ban fracking statewide,” said Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director, Waterkeepers Chesapeake. “This vote was the result of an incredible grassroots movement across Maryland, and especially in Western Maryland, that demanded the legislature protect their families, livelihoods, and clean water and air from the irreversible damage caused by fracking.” “I’m elated that the Maryland legislature agreed that mounting evidence demonstrates that the fracking industry has a sorry history of noncompliance and violations of environmental regulations and permits, and determined the only way to safeguard our waterways and drinking water supplies is to not allow fracking to start in Maryland,” said Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper. “As a member of the Don’t Frack Maryland steering committee and a home owner in Garrett County, I have witnessed first-hand the power of…