Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins joined Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Senator Todd Kaminsky and members of the senate and assembly majority conferences to announce support for historic legislation to ban oil and natural-gas drilling in New York’s coastal areas. The legislation (S.2316), sponsored by Senator Kaminsky, will protect Long Island and New York from the Trump administration’s dangerous offshore drilling expansion efforts. The senate majority passed this critical legislation on Tuesday, February 5.

“The senate majority will not stand by as the Trump administration plans to drill off Long Island shores,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “Long Island’s natural resources and communities’ quality of life are under threat. I applaud Senator Todd Kaminsky for his swift action to protect Long Island and for his leadership on protecting New York State’s environment. The senate democratic majority will stand up for Long Island families and fight against any efforts to drill anywhere near New York’s coastlines.”

Senator Todd Kaminsky, bill sponsor and chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, “It is essential for tomorrow that we protect our planet today — especially the vital natural resources here on Long Island and across our state. We are taking two big steps toward a more sustainable future for New York. I am proud to work with Leader Stewart-Cousins and our senate conference on prioritizing and protecting Long Island’s environment. Offshore drilling is dangerous to the local environment, and would reverse progress toward our climate change goals — it must be prohibited. And by curbing the over-fishing of menhaden, we are conserving an extremely important species in our Atlantic Ocean ecosystem.”

The legislation advanced by Senator Todd Kaminsky and supported by the senate democratic majority will update New York State’s decades-old laws regulating oil and natural-gas drilling. Specifically, this legislation prevents conveyances, leases, and acquisitions of land for offshore oil and gas.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris said, “Protecting New York’s coastal communities is critical to our future. We must value our natural resources and put people before energy-company profits. Banning off-shore drilling will do just that.”

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. said, “I am proud to stand with my colleagues in advancing this vital legislation to prohibit oil and natural gas drilling off of New York’s coast. Permitting this kind of misguided and potentially disastrous drilling would endanger our environment, and threaten fish and wildlife, while negatively impacting tourism and the economy in coastal communities. At worst, it could result in potentially devastating spills and widespread irreversible contamination of our waters, beaches, homes, and businesses located on or near the waterfront. It’s time to just say ‘no’ to this ill-advised activity in New York State.”

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