Nine Senators Seek to Block East Coast Oil Drilling

Massachusetts U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey is leading a group of senators calling for continued protections along the east coast against offshore oil drilling.

The group of nine, including fellow Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, urges the Department of Interior to protect Georges Bank off New England, coastlines, as well as fishing and tourism industries, as the federal agency develops its next five-year Offshore Leasing Program. The current program protects states along the East Coast while making 75 percent of offshore oil and gas resources in federal waters available for development.

In a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the lawmakers point out the majority of federal lands offshore in the Gulf of Mexico under lease have not yet been developed, despite the fact the Gulf holds the largest volumes of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources.