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VIDEO: In Floor Speech, Pingree Urges Support for Bill Banning Oil Drilling in Gulf of Maine

Washington, September 11, 2019

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today spoke before the U.S. House of Representatives in support of H.R. 1941, the Coastal Marine Economies Protection Act. The bill seeks to counteract the Trump administration’s plan to drill for oil in most U.S. waters, including new leases in the North Atlantic region encompassing Maine. H.R. 1941 would place a permanent moratorium on oil and gas leasing on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Watch or download Pingree’s floor speech here.

Text of her speech is as follows:

Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you to the chair for his work on this and for yielding me the time.

Today I rise in support of The Coastal Marine Economies Protection Act and to defend Maine’s coastline for future generations.

This summer I was blessed to once again become a grandmother.

With the birth of my new grandson, I am now lucky enough to be the grandmother of four.

All four of my grandchildren played in and around the ocean this summer, the Gulf of Maine—just as their parents had had done and so many other Mainers do every summer.

The Gulf of Maine is an irreplaceable natural resource that is a draw for millions tourists each year for a reason and it is critical to the Maine economy.

It should not be exploited for oil and drilling.

The climate crisis has already taken a toll on our waters. Its caused ocean acidification and a rise in sea levels and the warming of the ocean has put Maine’s vibrant fishing industries in peril.

Drilling for fossil fuels in the Gulf of Maine when we should be investing to renewable energy is like trying to put out fire by dousing it with kerosene.

I believe it is our duty, as elected leaders, to leave this nation better than how we found it.

That means ensuring we preserve our oceans for our children and grandchildren and we fight this climate crisis with all we’ve got.

I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join me in supporting H.R. 1941 because sacrificing our coastline to further this nation’s dependence on fossil fuels is nothing short of irresponsible.

The U.S. House plans to vote on two other bills to ban oil and gas drilling off the coast and to reverse a provision in the 2017 Republican tax plan which allowed new drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). These bills include:

H.R. 205 – Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act (Rep. Rooney): permanently extends the moratorium on oil and gas leasing and preleasing in the Gulf of Mexico.

H.R. 1146 – Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plan Protection Act (Rep. Huffman): prohibits oil and gas leasing, development, and production in ANWR. Congresswoman Pingree is a co-sponsor.


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