East End Officials United Against Offshore Oil

Representative Lee Zeldin, state and municipal officials, environmental organizations, and business leaders will hold a press conference Friday at 10 a.m. at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, where they plan to present a unified front against the Trump administration’s plan to open most federal waters to oil and gas exploration and drilling, including the Atlantic Ocean’s outer continental shelf.

In a statement on Tuesday, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. denounced the Trump administration’s decision. Mr. Thiele lent support to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s request to the federal government to exempt New York State from the offshore drilling plan, and said that, barring action by the secretary of the interior, New York’s congressional delegation should enact legislation to remove the state from the initiative. 

“All levels of government on Long Island are engaged in intensive efforts to improve the quality of our surface waters,” Mr. Thiele said, noting that New York is home to 3 of the 28 estuaries of national significance, including Peconic Bay, Long Island Sound, and New York Harbor. “Our Long Island South Shore bays are designated as an estuary of state significance,” he said. “Tourism and fishing are major New York industries that depend on clean water and pristine beaches.”

“In summary, both our environment and our economy depend on clean oceans, bays, wetlands, and beaches,” Mr. Thiele said. He called on all Long Island residents to work in solidarity to defeat the Trump administration proposal.