Legal Newsline

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Massachusetts attorney general considers legal action to fight offshore drilling plans

By Marian Johns | Mar 20, 2018

BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is opposing the Trump administration's and the Department of Interior's proposal of offshore oil and gas drilling along the coast of the state and is threatening legal actions in an effort to fight the proposed drilling. 

In recent communication sent to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BEAM), Healey said she would consider legal action in order to protect Massachusetts' economy and natural resources. 

“Of all the bad environmental ideas the Trump administration has proposed, this one may take the cake,” Healey said in a statement.  “Despite concerns from the fishing industry, clean energy developers, marine scientists, and thousands of residents up and down the coast who depend on a healthy ocean, this administration has repeatedly ignored the serious economic and environmental risks of offshore drilling. Massachusetts does not want drilling off our coast and I will fight this proposal to defend our state and our residents." 

Healey's comments to BEAM include the threat to the state's $7.3 billion fishing industry, which includes 90,000 jobs that she says support the state's 1,500 miles of coastline. 

Healey also said in her correspondence with BEAM that Massachusetts currently spends millions to battle climate change's impacts on its coastal communities and the administration's proposal will conflict with Massachusetts' pollution laws already in place. 

“The potential impacts of an oil spill on or approaching the scale of the Deepwater Horizon disaster are profound and potentially catastrophic,” Healey wrote.

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Massachusetts Attorney General's Office