Suffolk Legislators State Opposition to Oil Leases

Seven Suffolk County legislators and the Legislature’s presiding officer and deputy presiding officer wrote to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on Friday to express opposition to the Trump administration’s plan to open the outer continental shelf to oil and gas exploration and drilling. 

Bridget Fleming, who represents the Towns of East Hampton and Southampton as well as Shelter Island and parts of East Moriches and Eastport, was among the signatories of the letter. It noted that more than 98 percent of the outer continental shelf includes a region encompassing the county.

 “Suffolk County is home to more than 100 public beaches stretching over 1,000 miles of coastline; our county depends on our tourism industry and our marine resources,” the letter reads. “This program will cause substantial harm to our county’s tourism revenue and employment industries as well as our precious marine resources.” 

Given Florida’s removal from consideration because its coastline’s economy is reliant on tourism, “we request that Suffolk County also be immediately removed from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms,” the letter reads.