Pellegrino: "Shame on Washington for once again putting special interests before the health and safety of our communities."
Long Island, NY - March 23, 2018 - Assemblywoman Christine Pellegrino (D-Babylon/Oyster Bay/West Islip) announced that legislation she co-sponsored to prohibit the leasing of state-owned waterways for oil and natural gas drilling has advanced the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee and is one step closer to being voted on by the Assembly (A.9819).
“Shame on Washington for once again putting special interests before the health and safety of our communities,” Pellegrino said. “We’re already battling water quality issues here on Long Island. Oil and gas drilling are the last things the South Shore needs, and we must do everything we can to prevent our environment from being devastated.”
The bill was introduced by Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Assemblyman Steven Englebright in response to President Trump’s executive order to expand and lease federal acres for offshore drilling. The federal offshore drilling proposal includes a total of nine lease sales in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) of the Atlantic Region, with two potentially including New York. Drilling off New York’s coast has not been permitted for decades, and as a result, state regulations have not kept pace. This legislation would remedy that oversight, preventing the use of New York’s underwater lands for drilling. Further, the measure would also prevent the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of General Services from authorizing leases that would result in the increase of oil or natural gas production.
“The short-sighted America-First Offshore Energy Strategy presents risks rather than opportunities for our communities, threatening our environment and economy,” said Committee Chair Assemblyman Englebright. “With our environment and well-being in the balance, this legislation ensures that New York’s coasts are protected.”
As chair of the Assembly Commission on Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes, Assemblywoman Pellegrino hosted a hearing along with Assemblyman Englebright and Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, chair of the Long Island Sound Task Force, to examine the environmental implications and the potential for oil spills and pollution if such lease authorizations and subsequent drilling occur. A petition against offshoring drilling in New York can be also be found on Pellegrino’s Assembly website at nyassembly.gov/Pellegrino.