Devastating oil spills of the Deepwater Horizon variety aren’t the only risk posed by expanded offshore drilling in waters off the United States, a new environmental report says.
New oil and gas drilling along the country’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts — which the Trump administration proposed but put on hold — would spur a flurry of energy development on dry land, raising the risk of broken pipelines and refinery pollution in coastal areas, according to a report released Wednesday by Environment America, a coalition of 29 state environmental groups.
“Whether it causes oil spills off our coast or pollution on our shores, offshore drilling is dirty and dangerous,” report co-author Kelsey Lamp, oceans advocate for Environment America Research & Policy Center, said in a news release.
President Donald Trump has previously supported expanding offshore drilling, including signing an executive order in 2017 aimed at opening coastal areas to offshore fossil fuel development, the News & Observer reported in April.
But Trump’s moves were opposed by North Carolina’s Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and other leaders in states bordering the Atlantic and Pacific, according to the News & Observer, which reported that “offshore drilling is already allowed in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coasts of Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama.”