SALEM, Ore. – The Trump White House supports offshore oil drilling, and not everyone is on the same page as the administration.
In Oregon, a group of anti-drill protesters took to the streets to give their point of view, protesting in Salem to the tune of honking horns. The crowd says they’re taking a stand for the coast as President Donald Trump and his administration explore the expansion of offshore drilling.
Chantel Hason with Surfrider Portland said, “Just considering that something like oil drilling, oil spills could happen on the Oregon Coast with such a rich ecosystem, is unfathomable. It shouldn’t be allowed. We need it for future generations and if the coast goes, then we go.”
There were signs on the sidewalks outside of the Red Lion Hotel. Inside, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management–a federal agency under the Department of the Interior–held an open house.
“The purpose of these meetings is the environment. We’re here to listen to those concerns, get as much information as we can,” Bill Brown said. Brown–who’s with the bureau–says it’s not taking a side, just gathering comment to write up an environmental impact statement and calling everything right now “very preliminary,” years away from anything even taking shape.
As for Oregon and Washington, under that proposed draft program, oil and gas leasing could open up as early as 2021.
Here’s what Brown has to say about the current state of offshore drilling: “It’s not risk-free but it’s a lot more sound than it used to be. The technology is highly developed.”