Senator Markey Says Public Hearing On Off-Shore Drilling A Sham

BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) –  Ahead of a Federal Public Hearing in Boston on Tuesday, Senator Edward Markey called the plan to allow offshore drilling reckless and unwarranted.

“This plan about helping the bottom line of big oil companies at the expense of protecting the bottom line of the ocean off of our shores,” Markey said.

Joined by members of the science fishing and tourists industries, Markey says President Trump's proposal to allow oil and gas drilling in coastal waters is simply a bad idea.

The gathering held by Markey with members of the science, fishing and tourist industries at the New England Aquarium was an effort to show opposition to a Trump administration plan.

The proposed offshore drilling plan would allow oil and gas drilling in the waters off the East, West and Florida coasts the Arctic Ocean and two leases sales in the waters off Massachusetts.

RELATED: Executive Order 13795 Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy

“Our economy would be devastated, if the fishing industry and the tourism industry were to be affected negatively by an oil spill,” Markey said.

Markey says something needs to be done to stop a potential economic and environmental disaster in the region.

“President’s Trump’s administration, would put the economy and environment of Massachusetts and other coastal states at tremendous risk all to benefit big oil companies who will ship their dirty product overseas.” Markey said.

Markey also says that the date for a hearing in Boston by the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has been changed three times and they are not allowing the public to testify.

For Wendy Norcross, of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, she is concerned of the livelihood those living on the coast.

 “We have over 874 miles of coastline, we are literally surrounded by water and the environment is our economy,” she said.

Kevin Stokesbury, a Professor at UMass Dartmouth’s Department of Fisheries and Oceanography says the risks simply outweigh the rewards.

“I worked on the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the impacts on the Pacific herring fishery in Prince William Sound and that fishery has not recovered 25-years later,”

Stokesbury said.

Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is set to hold a public hearing in Boston Tuesday at the Sheraton Boston Hotel at 3 p.m. and at a meeting in Providence on Wednesday.

WBZ NewsRadio1030’s Ben Parker reports.

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