Dear Editor,

Last month, Congressman Andy Harris stood with his constituents by voting to block expanded offshore drilling for the next year via the Interior-Environment funding bill (H.R. 3052). Thank you, Congressman for protecting our coast.

Any expansion of offshore drilling is a permanent decision with real consequences. This practice is dangerous, and we are concerned about how it might impact our industry, as well as the Eastern Shore’s economy as a whole. If the tourism and fishing industries are negatively impacted by offshore drilling, the real estate industry will suffer. We rely on the success of local businesses, as well as the area’s appeal to tourists, high quality of life for residents, and the health of our natural assets. Offshore drilling would irrevocably damage our coastline, our way of life, and our livelihood.

There’s also a parallel effort to permanently protect our coasts from offshore drilling. Congressman Joe Cunningham (D-SC) has introduced H.R. 1941 – Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, which would place a permanent moratorium on offshore oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic Ocean, Straits of Florida, and Pacific Ocean. Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL) has introduced H.R. 205 – Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act of 2019, which would amend the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 to make permanent the current moratorium that prohibits offshore oil and gas leasing off Florida’s Gulf Coast through June 30, 2022. This means that Congressman Harris will have two more chances to vote and we’ll need his support again.

Local REALTORS® are grateful to have people like Congressman Harris advocating on behalf of coastal communities in Congress. Together, Maryland is united against offshore oil and gas activities. Thank you, Congressman Harris for standing with Marylanders and for your leadership as we all work together to protect our coast.


Bernie Flax


Coastal Association of REALTORS®