Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said today that offshore oil drilling should never be allowed in the Gulf of Maine because it would put Maine fishing jobs at risk.
"We don't want to see what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico ever happen in the Gulf of Maine," Pingree said. "An oil spill like that one here in Maine would be devastating to the fishing economy and our environment."
A moratorium on drilling along much of the US East and West Coasts, including the Gulf of Maine, expired in 2008. Recently the Obama Administration has opened up some areas off the Mid Atlantic Coast to oil exploration, but won't be able to do the same thing off the Maine Coast if Pingree gets her way. Last year Pingree cosponsored legislation that would prevent any President from ever opening parts of the Gulf of Maine, including the area around Georges Bank to oil drilling.
"There have been some who have suggested oil exploration in the Gulf of Maine," Pingree said. "But we need to take it off the table and say no drilling here, period."
Pingree also said the growing environmental disaster off the Louisiana Coast highlights the need to create and develop new sources of clean energy.
"By developing new sources of energy like wind and tidal power, we can create a home-grown solution to our energy problems that creates good jobs right here in Maine and lessens our dependence on oil," Pingree said.