Offshore drilling creates these new dangers onshore, environmental report says

Miami Herald
Jared Gilmour

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.”