The Portland City Council unanimously adopted a resolution Monday opposing oil and gas drilling off the coast of Maine.
The action came in response to an executive order signed in January by President Trump that would begin opening up U.S. coastal waters to oil and gas exploration. The executive order was opposed my many coastal states. Maine’s congressional delegation has voiced its opposition to the drilling plan.
The resolution, which will be sent to the federal agencies receiving public input on the plan, seeks to exempt Portland’s offshore area from the 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Draft Proposed Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
The resolution states that the onshore infrastructure associated with drilling – refineries and pipelines – could “harm the character of Portland’s coastline and could exacerbate wetlands loss and storm surges and seal level rise.” It also says that such activities would place “coastal communities at economical and ecological risk from oil spills and pollution.”
The resolution also describes how seismic air-guns used in the exploration process can disrupt and displace sea creatures and mammals that rely on sound to find food, migrate and mate. Blasts from such guns can also disrupt squid, lobster and scallops, the resolution states, noting a potential 70 percent reduction in commercial fishing catches.
More than 140 towns along the Atlantic coast have passed resolutions against the drilling proposal, according to the resolution.
Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at: