Dec. 20–BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that her office is suing to stop the Trump administration from opening the Atlantic coastline to oil and gas drilling, with support from key Cape Cod organizations.
“We stand here to pledge our support to continue to do everything that we can to keep our ocean safe and clean and viable for future generations,” Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Wendy Northcross said at the announcement held at the New England Aquarium.
Among other issues, an oil spill could devastate property values across the region, Northcross said. Maintaining a livelihood on Cape Cod is not easy, she said. Residents deliberately choose to live there, she said.
“Over the last 20 years, it’s clear that environment is our economy,” Northcross said. “It’s tied to each other. If the environment was to be harmed, our economy would be harmed equally.”
For now, the region has a strong tourism industry, estimated at $1.2 billion, and an equally strong retirement and health care industry, she said.
In late September, the Trump administration announced an easing of rules imposed on offshore oil and gas drilling, a change that is set to take effect Dec. 27.
Association to Preserve Cape Cod Executive Director Andrew Gottlieb, who also attended the announcement, commended Healey’s action as “very protective of Cape Cod’s interests.”
President Donal Trump’s administration has a backward-looking energy policy that on Cape Cod could perpetuate human-caused climate change, present a real threat to marine life and cause “potentially catastrophic losses to beaches and water quality,” Gottlieb said.
“Oil and water don’t mix,” he said. “You don’t have to be a scientist to know that.”
Even without a catastrophic spill, oil and gas drilling off the coastline would jeopardize water quality on Cape Cod, he said.
— Material from the Associated Press was used in this story. Follow Mary Ann Bragg on Twitter: @maryannbraggCCT
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