N.H. Governor Signs Bill Banning Offshore Drilling

Sep 10, 2019

New Hampshire state law now bans offshore drilling and exploration for oil and natural gas.

Gov. Chris Sununu signed the bill into law Tuesday at Ragged Neck State Park — with the Atlantic Ocean and Isles of Shoals as a backdrop. The measure breezed through the state Legislature earlier this year, during a time when President Trump was calling for expanding offshore drilling.

Sununu mentioned the administration during his remarks in Rye. "We got assurances from Washington that they wouldn't be drilling off our coast," he said. "What this really does is codify it for future generations, for future administrations, and I think really make sure that we punctuate that emphasis on keeping New Hampshire great and keeping our Seacoast really what it is."

The governor signed the bill with three of the sponsors and supporters at his side: Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, Sen. Jon Morgan, and Rep. Renny Cushing.

In her remarks, Senator Clark noted the setting and history: Almost 50 years passing since Dudley Dudley led a movement against Aristotle Onassis' proposal to build an oil refinery off New Hampshire's 18-mile coastline.

The bill that takes effect 60 days after passage ... "makes clear that despite attempts and interests by the Trump administration, New Hampshire, joining with our neighboring states of Maine and Massachusetts, will not permit oil and gas drilling off our shores," Clark said.

Language in the bill also prohibits the development of any on-shore support facilities or infrastructure related to offshore drilling.