CONCORD—Today, the New Hampshire Senate passed SB 76, to prohibit offshore oil and natural gas drilling and exploration.
Senator Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth), prime sponsor of SB 76, released the following statement after the vote:
“While the Trump administration pursues opportunities to promote fossil fuels with abandon, and no concern for our environment, New Hampshire must move forward with sustainable energy developments including offshore wind and increased solar energy. Offshore drilling and exploration disrupts fisheries, ecosystems, and tourism and does nothing to move the needle on climate change. Today’s vote to prohibit offshore drilling is a major and important win for New Hampshire as we join with other New England states to protect our valuable coastlines from further irresponsible development of oil and coal instead of advancing offshore wind and solar.”
In January 2018, the US Department of the Interior announced plans to allow offshore drilling up and down the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Governor Sununu is opposed to offshore drilling in New Hampshire and extracted a concession from the former Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, that offshore drilling would not happen in New Hampshire. However, that promise does not have the force of law.
State legislatures on both coasts, including our neighbor states of Maine and Massachusetts, have introduced coordinated legislation in 2019to ban off-shore drilling in their states’ waters.