Chair Grijalva Hails Historic Passage of This Week’s Bills to Protect Coasts, Arctic Refuge From Drilling – “We Need a Better Way of Doing Things”

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today hailed the House passage of three bills to protect the Atlantic, Pacific, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico coastlines from offshore drilling and to block the Republican push for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The House just passed Rep. Jared Huffman’s (D-Calif.) Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, and yesterday approved Rep. Joe Cunningham’s (D-S.C.) Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act and Rep. Francis Rooney’s (R-Fla.) Protecting and Securing Florida's Coastline Act. 

All three bills initially passed out of the Natural Resources Committee, which has played a leading role in passing environmental conservation measures through the House since the beginning of the 116th Congress. Rep. Cunningham, a freshman, joined the Committee in January specifically to advocate for the beaches, tourism and fisheries in the Lowcountry, and the passage of his bill marks an extraordinary success for a freshman lawmaker. 

“If we’re going to protect our environment and combat climate change with the seriousness it demands, we need a better way of doing things,” Grijalva said today. “Too many Republicans and the fossil fuel industry treat oil drilling as the only conceivable source of jobs in this country, and that’s just not a serious position. We need massive investments in clean, renewable energy and a meaningful economic transition away from dependence on fossil fuels. Anything less is a betrayal of the obligation we owe to the people we represent and the young Americans looking to us for leadership.”

Each of the three bills passed the House with the approval of all but five Democrats. You can view video highlights of debate on all three bills at http://facebook.com/nrdems.

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