Congresswoman Elaine Luria Votes to Protect Our Coasts from Offshore Drilling

September 11, 2019
Press Release
Fulfilling a Promise to Stand Up for Coastal Environment

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) today voted for Congressman Joe Cunningham’s (SC-01) Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, which would permanently ban offshore gas and oil drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

In January 2018, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management published a draft offshore leasing plan that would open the entirety of America’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Leaving coastal regions vulnerable to the economic and environmental risks of offshore drilling, this plan was strongly condemned by local, state, and federal leaders along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

If signed into law, the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act (H.R. 1941), which Congresswoman Luria cosponsored, would address these concerns by establishing a permanent moratorium on oil and gas leasing along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

“As a 20-year Navy veteran, I know offshore drilling presents a clear threat to our national security, local economy, and coastal environment,” Congresswoman Elaine Luria said. “Congressman Cunningham’s bill is comprehensive in combating the threat on both sides of America. I strongly urge the Senate to follow in the House’s lead in passing this critical legislation to protect our coasts.”

“Coastal communities across the country have made it abundantly clear that they want nothing to do with offshore drilling and the devastating threat it poses to our vital natural resources. Thanks to the bipartisan support of my colleagues, including Congresswoman Luria, the House took definitive action today to protect our coasts,” Congressman Joe Cunningham said. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to follow our lead and pass this legislation as soon as possible.”

Protecting Coastal Virginia from the risks of offshore drilling is one of Congresswoman Luria’s top priorities.

The first bill she cosponsored was the Defend Our Coast Act, a bipartisan bill that would prohibit the Department of Interior from issuing leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Mid-Atlantic (Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Delaware).

She spoke on the House Floor in support of Congressman Frank Pallone’s (NJ-06) amendment on a spending bill that would prohibit federal funding from advancing offshore drilling and related activities through the entire Atlantic Ocean. Most recently, Congresswoman Luria participated in a town hall in Virginia Beach where she discussed her staunch opposition to offshore drilling.

The Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act today passed the House with a bipartisan majority.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.