Rep. Zeldin Hosts Meeting on Offshore Drilling With Dept. of Interior Officials
FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) hosted a public comment session this afternoon on the Administration's proposal to open 90% of the waters off the coast of the United States to offshore drilling. Hundreds of Long Islanders attended today’s meeting. Congressman Zeldin had a lengthy conversation earlier this month with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke with regards to this request. The two also had a follow up meeting in the Capitol this week where Congressman Zeldin reiterated the urgency of this request and the need to schedule for as soon as possible prior to the end of the current public comment period, which closes on March 9, 2018. At today’s meeting, Department of Interior officials listened to and recorded public comments. Originally scheduled to last two hours and end at 2 PM, today’s session was extended past 3:00 PM to ensure everyone who wanted to provide oral testimony had the opportunity to today. Individuals were also able to submit written testimony today as well.
In January, Congressman Zeldin was joined by State and Local Officials, Environmental Stakeholders, and Business Leaders in opposition to offshore drilling off the Long Island Coast and urged the Department of the Interior to hold a public meeting on Long Island to hear firsthand the negative impact it would have.
“As the area of New York that offshore drilling would most affect, it was so important that the Department of Interior hear directly from Long Islanders, at a forum here on the island, about the negative effects offshore drilling could have on Long Island’s environment, economy, and way of life,” Congressman Zeldin said during the meeting. “Even just the exploratory phase of offshore drilling would be detrimental. The seismic testing would affect fish and marine life populations and is a major concern for our environmentalists, fishermen, oyster growers, and other businesses that are part of our historic and growing seafood economy. It is so important to note one thing in particular - there is no evidence of these resources even being located off of Long Island. That alone is reason enough to take Long Island off the table.”
Present today from the U.S. Department of Interior was Director of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs John Tanner and Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management Kate MacGregor who oversees the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
Written comments can still be submitted at BOEM.gov until March 9, 2018.