Dems introduce bills to block offshore drilling

A group of House Democrats introduced a suite of eight bills Tuesday aimed at blocking President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE’s proposal to expand offshore oil and natural gas drilling around the country.

Taken together, the bills would ban or put a 10-year moratorium on offshore drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans, as well as the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The bills came as the Interior Department is expected soon to move forward on its plan released in January 2018 to open the offshore areas of the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic and Gulf coasts to offshore oil and natural gas drilling. That plan has met stiff opposition from political leaders and coastal communities that neighbor nearly all of the areas.

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“Today’s bills are about a cleaner, more sustainable future for our country,” House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said in a statement.

“We can create clean energy jobs and protect our coastlines at the same time with the right policy choices,” he said. “The American people don’t want oil rigs on every beach up and down our coasts, and our economy doesn’t need them. Doubling down on offshore drilling would be a huge mistake, and we’re proud to work together to make sure we take a better course.”

Rep. Alan LowenthalAlan Stuart LowenthalOvernight Energy: Court rules for Trump in environmental case over border wall | House bill would stop Alaska refuge drilling | Ads target Dems over Green New Deal Lawmakers introduce bill to ban drilling in Alaska wildlife refuge Overnight Energy: Wheeler weathers climate criticism at confirmation hearing | Dems want Interior to stop drilling work during shutdown | 2018 was hottest year for oceans MORE (D-Calif.), the incoming chairman of the energy and mineral resources subcommittee in the Natural Resources panel, is sponsoring bills that target drilling off California, the entire Pacific coast, the Arctic coast and the Atlantic coast.

“Time and time again, from Santa Barbara to Deepwater Horizon, we have seen the potential widespread devastation from offshore oil drilling,” he said in a statement.

“We must make it clear, once and for all, that our coastlines will not pay the price of oil production greed and hubris. These bills will be a major step toward ensuring the coastlines remain unspoiled for generations to come.”

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