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RI Legislators Join Coalition To Limit Offshore Drilling

Two Rhode Island legislators joined lawmakers from nine states backing limits on proposals by the Trump Administration to drill in federally controlled waters.

The group includes lawmakers from nine states, including Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire, all of whom plan to introduce legislation to limit offshore drilling. The campaign is being coordinated by the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

In Rhode Island, Sen. Dawn Euer and Rep. Lauren Carson of Newport are re-introducing legislation to limit drilling off the coast of Rhode Island.

Rhode Island legislators introduced similar bills last year, and Carson said that revisions of the bill are in process for the 2019 legislative session.

We’ve seen some laws passed in other states, particularly New Jersey and Delaware, so we’re learning from their experiences, and we’re putting together a stronger bill this year,” Carson said.

A centerpiece of the bill is banning the construction of pipelines and storage facilities for oil drilled offshore.

“The feds are proposing to drill beyond the state waters,” Carson said. “But we were interested in not really making it easy for them to drill off Rhode Island because we don’t want any of that oil coming onshore.”

Carson said the state’s focus should be on increasing infrastructure for renewable energy. 

Offshore drilling, Santa Barbara Channel.
Offshore drilling, Santa Barbara Channel.