Governor Cuomo: "New York's Coastlines Are Not For Sale!"
Governor Cuomo today issued a letter to Representative Paul Gosar, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, ahead of Thursday's hearing on the Enhancing State Management of Federal Lands and Waters Act. In the letter, the Governor writes that the Act, which would require states to pay the federal government to protect their coasts from offshore drilling, sets a "dangerous, outrageous, and unethical precedent."
The full text of the letter is available below:
Honorable Paul Gosar
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
United States House of Representatives
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Gosar:
New York's coastlines are NOT FOR SALE!
I write to strongly oppose the Enhancing State Management of Federal Lands and Waters Act. While the bill's title implies that states will have greater say in how their coastal resources are managed, it is nothing more than another proposed financial and economic assault from Washington on New York. Creating in effect a federal extortion system that requires states to pay the federal government for the privilege of protecting their own coastal resources from offshore drilling is a new low, even for this Republican Congress.
In New York, we oppose any plan to survey or drill for oil and gas off of our shores. Offshore drilling poses an unacceptable risk to our coastal resources and our economy, and the federal government's interest in drilling shows a total disregard for science, reality, and history. Requiring states to pay the federal government to protect themselves from bad policy is a dangerous, outrageous, and unethical precedent. Even more confusing, the legislation does not clarify whether such state payments constitute a waiver of states' rights. As long as I am Governor, New York State will never cede the authority to challenge offshore oil drilling actions in court.
This legislation is based on the premise that our coastal resources are valued only for oil and gas production. That assumption is nonsensical. In New York, oil and gas revenues pale in comparison to our ocean economy, which is the nation's third largest. Overall, New York's ocean economy generates an estimated $11 billion in wages, contributes $23 billion in gross domestic product and supports 320,000 jobs. Our coastal region boasts a population of 11.4 million people, the largest port on the Atlantic seaboard and multi-billion-dollar tourism and fishing industries. A major spill would jeopardize not only New York's coastal economy, but the national economy as well.
This bill also undermines New York's bold commitment to renewable energy and the clean energy economy, including developing offshore wind power. In New York, we launched a nation-leading $1.4 billion investment dedicated to on-shore renewable energy projects and released a plan to develop 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind generation by 2030. We have advanced the Save Our Waters bill in the New York State Legislature to protect the state's coastal communities from the federal government's overreach and dangerous proposal to open these waters to oil and gas exploration. I urge you to abandon this dangerous and unprecedented piece of legislation.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer
Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand
Representative Nydia M. Velázquez, House Natural Resources Committee and Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources