Coastal States Protest Trump's Offshore Drilling Plan

Flickr; Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley  Wikipedia

Democrats have argued that Trump and Zinke were being hypocritical by agreeing to a request by Florida's Republican governor to withdraw from the drilling plan, but not making the same accommodation to states with Democratic governors.

Last week, the Trump Administration announced a controversial plan to dramatically expand drilling leases across 90 percent of the US outer continental shelf, including the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and parts of the Arctic Ocean.

"This political decision to open the magnificent and attractive Pacific Coast waters to oil and gas drilling flies in the face of decades of strong opposition on the part of Washington, Oregon and California - from Republicans and Democrats alike", they said in a joint statement.

The governor, a close ally of Trump, frequently visits the president and lunched with him less than two weeks ago at Trump's Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach.

"How loud do we have to shout for you to hear us, too?" Instead of focusing on short-term benefits for oil and gas companies, our country should be looking toward a clean energy future. "Florida, we have to remember, we are a tourism state". In 2016, the tourism industry in OR directly employed almost 110,000 Oregonians and visitors spent over $11 billion in the state. So let's celebrate it - and hope it's a sign of more to come.

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Washington Governor Jay Inslee, California Governor Jerry Brown and Oregon Governor Kate Brown are opposed to this action. In a press call, Virginia's junior U.S. Senator Tim Kaine also made the same request, and is not taking "no" as an answer.

Industry groups praised the announcement to drill offshore, while environmental groups denounced the plan, saying it would harm America's oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life.

In response to the plan, Louisiana's United States Congressman, Mike Johnson, released the following statement.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Governor-elect Ralph Northam today requested that Virginia be excluded from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's plans to expand offshore drilling off of all U.S. waters.

The department said in a statement earlier Friday that Zinke had set up calls with the governors of Rhode Island, Oregon, California, Washington, Delaware and North Carolina to get their input. Coastal cities and towns across the country have also passed resolutions in opposition while local residents, businesses, scientists, the military, and others have publicly raised serious concerns.

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