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Chair Grijalva: Trump Administration Bowed to Public Pressure to Stop Offshore Drilling – Now it’s Time to Show Real Seriousness on Climate Change

09.08.20

Tucson, Ariz. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said today that the Trump administration bowed to overwhelming public pressure in its newly announced withdrawal of the South Atlantic and Eastern Gulf of Mexico from new oil and gas leases, and that the administration should listen to the equally overwhelming pressure to implement serious limits on climate-damaging emissions and protect climate stability while we still can.

“The administration took one step today in what needs to be a much longer journey,” Grijalva said today. “Americans overwhelmingly support clean energy, oppose tax breaks for polluting industries, demand protections for public lands and waters, and prefer a cleaner, more sustainable economy than the one we have now. As we see today, getting the Trump administration to listen to these reasonable demands requires constant public pressure.”

The Trump administration has overseen what has been widely described as a war on America’s public lands, shrinking national monuments and eliminating protections on millions of acres of previously protected federal property. Today’s announcement does nothing to erase that legacy, Grijalva said – and is a sign that constant public pressure, not blind trust in the administration, is necessary to achieve any meaningful environmental progress.

The Committee in April released a report titled Have We Learned Nothing? on the Trump administration’s regulatory failures, rollbacks and conflicts of interest in light of the 10-year anniversary of the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Grijalva called on President Trump and the Republican Senate majority to take up Rep. Francis Rooney’s (R-Fla.) Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act and Rep. Joe Cunningham’s (D-S.C.) Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, both of which the House passed in September of 2019. Congress should pass permanent protection for the area, Grijalva said, to prevent any future president reneging on or canceling a temporary moratorium.

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