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Shaheen & Seacoast Leaders Hold Press Conference to Underscore Environmental and Economic Threat to NH Seacoast from Trump Offshore Drilling Proposal

Shaheen was joined by New Hampshire environmental, conservation, fishing industry and small business representatives to oppose the dangerous proposal.

3.2.2018 press conference

(Hampton, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) held a press conference to underscore the significant threats posed by President Trump’s offshore drilling proposal that could hurt New Hampshire’s environment and wildlife, as well as fishing, tourism and recreation industries.

“The threats to our coastline by the administration’s offshore drilling proposal are not hypothetical,” said Shaheen. “Drilling in the Atlantic would dramatically increase tanker traffic, and many of us remember the spill in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts after a tanker hit rocks and poured nearly 100,000 gallons of heavy oil into the water and polluted ninety miles of Massachusetts and Rhode Island shores. We cannot allow that to happen along New Hampshire’s coast. The risk is too great for our wildlife, environment and small businesses—particularly so for our small-boat fishing fleet, which has dwindled to fewer than ten boats. An oil spill off our coast could be fatal to this industry. New Hampshire waters belong to the people of New Hampshire. I encourage everyone to make their voices heard and tell the administration to respect Granite Staters’ wishes and to also listen to the overwhelming bipartisan support opposing this decision.”

Senator Shaheen encouraged Granite Staters to take opportunities to make their voices heard on the proposal, both at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s public meeting in Concord on Monday, March 5th and to submit statements during the public comment period, which ends on Friday, March 9th. During the press conference, Senator Shaheen was also joined by Jim Chase, President of the Seacoast Science Center, Pete Whelan, owner of Shoals Fly Fishing and a member of the Board of Directors for the Coastal Conservation Association, Jim O’Brien, the Director of External Affairs at the Nature Conservancy, and David Goethel, a local commercial fisherman.

In January, Senator Shaheen helped introduce a bipartisan bill with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and other New England Senators to bar offshore drilling along the region’s coast. She also sent a letter with the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke requesting that federal waters around New Hampshire be removed from the proposed plan. Senator Shaheen has been a fierce advocate for the Seacoast business community and to safeguard conservation efforts along New Hampshire’s shore. As the lead Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, Shaheen helped secure an additional $2 million for the Sea Grant Program, in the bipartisan funding bill approved by the committee in July. The Sea Grant Program is a partnership between the University of New Hampshire and the Department of Commerce, specifically the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), that fosters the sustainable development of New Hampshire’s coastal resources. Shaheen has also fought to increase funding for the NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration at the University of New Hampshire.