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Sen. Markey to hold meeting to discuss offshore drilling

  • U.S. Sen. Edward Markey speaks during his town hall discussion Monday at Forest Park Middle School in Springfield.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

BOSTON — U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is bringing together members of the fishing industry, tourism, environmental organizations and academia to discuss President Donald Trump’s proposal to allow oil and gas drilling in coastal waters.

The Massachusetts Democrat is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and chair of the Senate Climate Task Force. He opposes the plan.

Markey says he’s planning to discuss the proposal at the meeting he’s sponsoring at the New England Aquarium IMAX Theater in Boston at 10 a.m. Monday.

Markey’s event comes a day before the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management holds a hearing in Boston Tuesday. The agency is also holding a meeting in Providence Wednesday.

Democratic attorneys general from a dozen coastal states — including Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut — have written Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke protesting the drilling plan.

Democratic governors along both coasts unanimously oppose drilling, as do a number of Republican governors, including Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker. Baker is scheduled to meet with Zinke Sunday to discuss offshore drilling while he’s in Washington for the National Governors Association winter meeting.

The five-year plan announced by Zinke would open 90 percent of the nation’s offshore reserves to development by private companies.

Industry groups have praised the announcement while environmental groups denounced it.