When we drill, we spill – and when we spill off our shores, it can spell disaster for the whales, dolphins and coral that live in our oceans. That’s why it was great to see Gov. Mills stand up for our coasts this week by withdrawing Maine from participation in the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, reaffirming her vow to protect Maine’s coastline from offshore drilling.

In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf, sea turtles and seabirds were covered in thick, brown oil, and struggled just to move, breathe and fly. Smaller spills also have a lasting impact on marine ecosystems and the coastal communities that depend on them.

Not only is drilling dangerous for our ecosystem, it’s also increasingly unnecessary. Here in Maine, we are working hard to build a cleaner, brighter future. That means powering our lives with energy from renewable sources, not dirty oil. As we move toward renewables and zero-emission transportation choices, why would we risk the health and beauty of our oceans for oil we don’t need?

Thanks to the work of Gov. Mills, Maine is sending a strong signal that drilling off our coast is unacceptable. Let’s hope officials in Washington will take note.

Carissa Maurin

state director, Environment Maine

Portland