Oregon Congressmen Kurt Schrader (05), Peter Defazio (04), and David Wu (01) introduced an amendment this morning to prevent drilling for oil and natural gas off the Oregon coastline.
The Oregon members are attempting to exempt the Oregon coast from H.R. 2021 which would make it easier for oil companies to get permits for deep-water drilling operations.
"As representatives of one of the West Coast's most scenic coastlines we will always fight to protect it," said Schrader. "Oregon has more than 363 miles of scenic coastline, countless marine wildlife, and an economy which relies heavily on our fisheries and coastal tourism. Oregonians oppose drilling off our coast line and Congress must respect that position."
Over two decades ago, Congress passed the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, providing for a system of offshore oil leasing, regulation, and development in federal waters. The act also placed a moratorium on oil leasing and other related activities in areas off of the West Coast including Oregon, Washington, and California. The act was rescinded in 2008.
"The coast of Oregon cannot afford a Deep Water Horizon event like we saw in the Gulf of Mexico last year. This amendment prevents that," said DeFazio. "The last thing we need is a catastrophic spill that would destroy our fisheries, ruin our beautiful coastline, irreparably harm coastal families, and cost us jobs in Oregon's $1.2 billion fishing and tourism industries."
"Big oil companies may see profit potential off our shores, but Oregonians find much more value in preserving our oceans and coasts," said Wu. "We will continue to lead the nation in developing innovative renewables--like wave energy and algae-based biofuels--that provide clean power and reduce our dependence on oil."