Public hearing shares lots of opposition to offshore drilling

On Wednesday, March 7, I joined a great gathering at the Augusta Civic Center. In spite of an incoming Nor’easter, lots of people turned out to a public hearing about the Trump administration’s proposal to open up the drilling in most U.S. continental-shelf waters — including Maine.

On the same day, the Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) hosted a “science fair-style” information session without a hearing. So, some of our colleagues at NRCM, Surfrider, and others organized a public hearing for Mainers to share their thoughts on the proposal just prior to the BOEM session. Here’s a video from that public event:

Fortunately, the full Maine congressional delegation has already expressed its strong opposition to the proposal, and the Maine State legislature unanimously passed a resolution that demanded Maine waters be left alone. At the public hearing, environmental organizations like Maine Audubon joined the Maine Lobster Association, fishermen, businessmen, public health groups, and concerned citizens to express our concerns and opposition to the proposal.

I was fortunate to be able to attend and see the bipartisan effort, where we heard a variety of voices that view the Maine coast through different lenses but still come to the same conclusion: that offshore drilling is bad for Maine’s economy, waters, wildlife, and people.