State Rep. Dan Hobbs, D-Wells, testifies before the Environment and Natural Resources Committee in support of legislation that would prohibit oil or natural gas development off the coast of Maine. COURTESY PHOTO

AUGUSTA — State Rep. Dan Hobbs, D-Wells, offered his support for L.D. 955, An Act To Prohibit Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Drilling and Exploration before the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

The bipartisan bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Mick Devin, D-Newcastle, would prohibit any oil or natural gas exploration, development or production on the waters of the State of Maine. Similar legislation has been introduced in Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island

Hobbs voiced his support for this bipartisan legislation and discussed the impacts that a potential oil spill would have on both Well’s ecosystem and its tourism economy.

“According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 90 accommodation and food establishments in Wells alone. All of these establishments benefit from the multitude of tourists who are attracted to our pristine beaches and clean waters. All of this, however, is put at risk if an oil spill occurs,” said Hobbs. “Our shoreline is central to our state’s identity. It powers our tourism industry, feeds our fishing economy and improves our state’s quality of life. We cannot risk it by allowing oil and natural gas drilling off of our region’s coast.”

The legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Hobbs, as well as State Sen. Robert Foley, R-Wells.

A work session will be scheduled at a later date this month, at which time the committee will consider any amendments to the bill and vote on a recommendation to the full Legislature.

Hobbs, who is serving his first term in the Maine House, represents part of the town of Wells. He serves on the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

Comments are not available on this story.