LOS ANGELES - Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration's decision to open up the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts to offshore oil drilling:
'Trump's decision to open up the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts to offshore oil drilling is an appalling giveaway to Trump's wealthy friends in the oil and gas industry. This dangerous decision, made purely for political reasons and with no regard for the environmental cost of this policy, will put our ocean ecosystems at risk of devastating water pollution and catastrophic oil spills.
'Offshore oil drilling is opposed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities throughout California, where families and small businesses depend upon the health of our oceans for food, commerce, and a thriving tourism industry. Trump's blatant disregard for California's coastal communities is heartless and cruel.
'The arbitrary and capricious nature of Trump's decision is further illustrated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's announcement that Florida will be exempted from expanded offshore oil drilling - in response to a request from that state's Republican governor. Had Trump bothered to think the policy through, he would have realized the damage offshore oil drilling has not just on Democratic-leaning coastal states like California, but on states governed by his Republican allies. Offshore oil drilling is opposed by both Republicans and Democrats in coastal states that do not want a disaster like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to mar their shores.
'Trump's offshore oil giveaway comes on top of numerous other policy decisions reflecting this administration's hostile attitude towards environmental protection. His June 1st decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change was an abdication of America's global leadership. That decision weakened the ability of this landmark agreement to protect us from climate change and its impacts on human communities, impacts which include deadly hurricanes, severe droughts, raging wildfires, and rising sea levels.
'Trump's budget request for fiscal year 2018 reduces the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by an astonishing 31 percent and eliminates 3,200 jobs, which is almost a quarter of the agency's workforce. The budget eliminates the Clean Power Plan, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions; eliminates the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay regional cleanup programs; and cuts funding for environmental protection in California by more than $30 million.
'Trump's latest decision is just another example of his contempt for our environment.'