Merkley Applauds Interior Department’s Cancellation of Arctic Offshore Lease Sales

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the U.S. Department of the Interior announced it would cancel two potential Arctic offshore lease sales for oil drilling and not renew existing leases:

“Today’s announcement is huge news and a real victory for the millions of Americans who have raised their voices against Arctic offshore drilling. The simple fact is that drilling in the Arctic is the height of irresponsibility, and I applaud the Obama Administration for taking action today. Canceling these lease sales is a terrific first step; now the United States should use its chairmanship of the Arctic Council to develop an agreement among all Arctic nations to end offshore drilling in the Arctic.”

Merkley is the author of the Senate’s Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015, legislation to prevent any new or renewed federal leases for offshore Arctic drilling. The Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as well by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA).