Massachusetts congressional delegation urges Gov. Charlie Baker to reject Trump administration's off

Massachusetts congressional lawmakers called on Gov. Charlie Baker Wednesday to formally oppose the Trump administration's plan to expand oil and gas drilling off the East Coast.

All 11 members of the state's delegation penned a letter to Baker urging him to join other states' governors in officially rejecting the Interior Department's newly unveiled five-year drilling plan, which seeks to open federal waters off the California coast and areas from Florida to Maine for oil and gas exploration purposes.

The lawmakers, who have been critical of efforts to expand offshore drilling, contended that opening areas off the East Coast for such purposes "would pose a serious threat to our oceans and the economic viability of the Commonwealth's coastal communities, tourism and shore-side businesses that rely on healthy marine resources."

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Pointing to maritime industries' impact on Massachusetts' economy, the delegation noted that the commercial fishing supported 83,000 jobs in the state and generated $1.9 billion income, as well as $7.3 billion in sales in 2015.

Marine-related tourism, meanwhile, generates tens of billion of dollars in economic value each yeah and supports more than 100,000 jobs in Massachusetts, they wrote.

"The economic effects of our ocean community are extensive, providing a source of income and jobs for commercial and recreational fishermen, vessel manu....

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