Leonardtown, MD – At their January 29, 2019 meeting, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County approved a Resolution opposing offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration activities. The resolution further opposes the use of seismic air gun blasting and covers an area off the Atlantic Coast, specifically at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
The action follows an August 16, 2017 Governor Larry Hogan’s notification to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management of Maryland’s opposition to the opening of the Mid-Atlantic outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease area for oil and gas exploration and development activities. This includes part of the 2019-2024, 5-year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
Commissioner President Randy Guy and Commissioner Eric Colvin (District 1) were briefed by members of Oceana at the 2019 Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) conference. Oceana is an international organization focused solely on oceans. The group is dedicated to achieving measurable change by conducting specific, science-based policy campaigns. Oceana has worked to pass similar resolutions with over 240 east coast counties and municipalities, including Annapolis, Berlin, Montgomery County and Ocean City.
“Our main concern is potential impacts offshore drilling may have on our waterfront and our watermen,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “Offshore drilling may require significant onshore infrastructure, such as pipelines or refineries, which would harm the character of Maryland’s coastline.”
Copies of the Resolution are being forwarded to Governor Hogan, Congressman Steny Hoyer, House and Senate Delegations to the 116th Congress, the President of the Maryland Senate and Maryland House Speaker.