Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

New York State Bans Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

Popular
Atlantic Ocean waves on the beach at Montauk Point, Long Island, New York. Meinzahn / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Alison Chase

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo hammered home New York's vehement opposition to harmful and outdated offshore drilling Monday by signing A. 2572/ S. 2316.


The legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Senator Todd Kaminsky and passed overwhelmingly by the Legislature the first week of February, amends state law to:

  • Ban oil and gas exploration, development and production in state coastal and tidal underwater land; and
  • Prohibit construction of any new infrastructure in New York to transport oil and natural gas developed in the North Atlantic Planning Area, the federal government's designation for federal waters offshore the tri-state area and New England.

Governor Cuomo has made crystal clear his opposition to drilling offshore New York and this ban stands in sharp contrast to the Trump administration's extreme oil and gas leasing proposal to open virtually all ocean waters more than three miles from shore to oil and gas drilling — the entire East Coast, West Coast, Gulf Coast and Alaska.

The new law drives home state opposition to offshore oil and gas development and constructs an important roadblock to any efforts to bring ashore oil drilled throughout New England and the tri-state area.

But New York will also need to keep fighting the Trump administration's planned expansion of offshore drilling. While the Trump administration's revised proposal appears to be on hold for now, the administration's interest in opening our waters to more offshore drilling remains and the drilling planning process could restart at any moment.

On Monday Governor Cuomo signed into law a ban on oil and gas exploration and development offshore New York. Tanya Khotin

Governor Cuomo, singer Billy Joel and County Executive Steve Bollone participated in Monday's bill signing.

Mark Izeman

Offshore oil and gas drilling or exploration anywhere along the Atlantic coast could put New York at risk. Oil spills don't stop at state boundaries and can be carried far along the coastline. After BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, oil contaminated more than 1,300 miles of coastline, harming fisheries, birds, and impacting endangered whales for generations to come. An equivalent disaster in the Atlantic — depending on currents and weather — could coat beaches from Savannah to Boston. Our state's fishermen catch species that move throughout the region; a spill anywhere along the Atlantic could affect their livelihoods.

NRDC is proud of New York's action to oppose offshore drilling and protect the hundreds of thousands of New York jobs and billions of dollars of state revenue that depend on clean, oil-free water and beaches and abundant fish and wildlife. New York's ocean use doesn't mix with harmful offshore oil and gas development. Now this common knowledge is law.

Alison Chase is a senior policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Aerial picture showing fires burning in Brazil's Amazon rainforest on August 23, 2019. Carl de Souza / AFP / Getty Images

The number of forest fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 28% in July in comparison to last year, the country's National Institute for Space Research reported Saturday.

Read More Show Less
A plane drops fire retardant over a home as the Apple Fire burns during the coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 1, 2020 in Cherry Valley, California. Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Southern California's first major wildfire this year has devoured more than 20,000 acres since Friday and forced thousands to flee their homes in the midst of a pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Water trickles down a hillside among moss next to the entrance to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault during a summer heat wave as mountains behind stand devoid of snow on Svalbard archipelago on July 29 in Longyearbyen, Norway. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

By Johnny Wood

What better place to build a Doomsday Vault than the remote, snow-covered islands of Norway's Arctic Svalbard? Sitting around 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole, the facility is buried in permafrost to protect the precious seed samples housed there. But a freak heatwave is causing the region's ice to melt.

Read More Show Less
Tens of thousands of people attend a Black Lives Matter protest which was mainly peaceful on June 6 in London, United Kingdom. Phil Clarke Hill / In Pictures / Getty Images

As climate activists, we can't fight the climate crisis without considering the systemic impacts that environmental racism and White supremacy have on the frontline communities most affected by pollution and our warming world.

Read More Show Less
Whooping cranes fly in Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Decatur, Alabama. There were only 48 whooping cranes in the country when the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, and thanks to the law's protections there are now over 600. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Eoin Higgins

Environmental groups on Friday condemned the announcement of a new rule proposed by President Donald Trump that would further weaken the Endangered Species Act by making it easier to destroy habitats vulnerable species rely on for survival.

Read More Show Less
Students at the "Japon" public school number 72 attend class during the first day of the final phase of the gradual process to reopen schools on June 28 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Ernesto Ryan / Getty Images

By Bob Spires

As American school officials debate when it will be safe for schoolchildren to return to classrooms, looking abroad may offer insights. Nearly every country in the world shuttered their schools early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have since sent students back to class, with varying degrees of success.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Tara Moore / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Maya Osman-Krinsky

In the United States, over 2,000 acres of agricultural land are sold every day for housing or commercial development, according to the American Farmland Trust. This has especially affected Black farmers who, since 1920, have seen nearly a 90 percent decline in land ownership, according to the U.S. Census.

Read More Show Less