A joint hearing by three major State Assembly entities will be held on February 14th to begin the process of assessing the potential impact on Long Island of the federal government's offshore drilling proposal. The hearing will be conducted by the State Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, the Commission on Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes, and the L.I. Sound Task Force.
The public notice succinctly sums up the purpose of the hearing, as follows: "On January 4, 2018, the United States Department of the Interior announced plans for the expansion of natural gas and oil drilling through the potential lease of acreage in federal offshore areas such as the Atlantic Region, which includes New York State. The purpose of this hearing is to examine the implications for New York's environment, including but not limited to, water quality, coastal management, fishery impacts, and the potential for increased oil spills and pollution if such lease authorizations and subsequent drilling occur."
According to a recent article in the New York Times...(Drill, baby, drill: Jan. 4, 2018)... "The plan would give the energy industry broad access to drilling rights in most parts of the outer continental shelf, including Pacific waters near California, Atlantic waters near Maine and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
The proposal lifts a ban on drilling, imposed by President Barack Obama in his final days in office, which protected more than 100 million offshore acres along the Artic and Eastern Seaboard. Such a reversal deals a serious blow to Mr. Obama's environmental legacy and signals that the Trump administration is nowhere near done unraveling the environmental restrictions of its predecessor in an effort to promote domestic energy production.
The drilling plan comes on the heels of a separate proposal to repeal offshore drilling safety regulations that were put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, as well as a decision by Congress to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling."
NYSEC will be monitoring this upcoming hearing and will provide updates on these and other developments as they occur.