Letter: Thank You, Congressman King

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Another 4th of July has passed, and once again I feel gratitude for being an American and for the Long Island lifestyle I enjoy on the water, in our seafood restaurants and on the beach. I am grateful that I live in a democracy where my elected member of Congress takes the time to meet with me to hear my concerns about protecting Long Island’s coast from offshore drilling. That’s why I wish to say thank you to Congressman Pete King and his staff for always making time for me over the past year to talk about offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting.

We may be experiencing a divisive period in our democracy’s history, but I am encouraged when I see a bipartisan effort in Congress to protect America’s natural resources. The health of our ocean is critical to Long Island’s fishing and tourism industries, and that is why I appreciate Congressman King’s recent vote to block funding to expand offshore drilling. Opening the Atlantic for drilling and seismic airgun blasting would be a bad decision that could impact Long Island forever.

Also cause for celebration is another bipartisan effort in Congress to protect the Atlantic and Pacific, put forward by Congressmen Joe Cunningham of South Carolina. This means that our coastal representatives—Republican and Democrat alike—will have another chance to rise above the political fray and put Long Island first. President Obama and President Trump both proposed drilling in the Atlantic, and there’s no telling what future administrations might try to do. Long Island will need elected leaders who are willing to protect our ocean-based lifestyle—and economy—again and again.

—Erin O’Rourke


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