WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) released the following statement after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said that the federal government’s oil and gas leasing plan for 2019-2024 would take into account the views of state and local municipalities. Congressman Hoyer recently joined the Maryland Delegation insending a letter to Secretary Zinke, the Department of Interior, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management voicing his opposition to opening up the Maryland coast for new oil and gas exploration:

“I agree with Secretary Zinke’s comments that state and local jurisdictions ought to have a say in whether or not their coasts are open to drilling. It would be extremely reckless for the Trump Administration to allow new oil and gas drilling off the coast of Maryland. Opening our coasts would threaten businesses in our state, not to mention the environmental and economic impact a potential oil spill would have on communities up and down our shoreline.

“I will continue to urge Secretary Zinke and the Trump Administration to consider the thousands of Marylanders who rely on fisheries, tourism, and clean water for their livelihood, and reject new any new drilling activity.”