Zinke will reconsider OR coast drilling

Secretary Zinke Announces Plan For Unleashing America's Offshore Oil and Gas Potential | U.S. Department of the

Secretary Zinke Announces Plan For Unleashing America's Offshore Oil and Gas Potential | U.S. Department of the

The Trump administration last week proposed opening almost all USA offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, a move aimed at boosting domestic energy production and which sparked protests from coastal states, environmentalists and the tourism industry.

Last week, the Trump Administration announced a controversial plan to dramatically expand drilling leases across 90 percent of the USA outer continental shelf, including the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and parts of the Arctic Ocean. Alaska and ME are the only two US states whose governors have expressed support for the plan. "For Floridians, we are not drilling off the coast of Florida, and clearly the governor has expressed that it's important".

Soon thereafter, the Interior Secretary had a discussion with Florida's Governor, and took the offshore drilling expansion off the table for federal waters off the coast of Florida without any public hearings or input, stating: "I support the governor's position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver".

"Such a quick reversal begs the question: Will the Trump administration give equal consideration to all the other coastal Governors from both parties who overwhelmingly reject this radical offshore drilling plan?"

Kate Brown's (D) office said Friday that Interior Secretary Zinke is considering exempting her state from the Trump administration's proposed offshore drilling plan.

In the announcement, Zinke called Scott, a fellow Republican, a "straightforward leader that can be trusted".

"It seems incredibly hard to justify or explain that this is anything other than arbitrary or capricious", said Weaver.

Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina, also a Democrat, Tweeted on Tuesday morning "Not Off Our Coast", with a link to Zinke's Tuesday night decision on Florida. "Secretary Zinke did not provide that commitment, unfortunately".

According to the Huffington Post, Trump's order in April "instructed the Interior Department to review the current five-year oil and gas leasing program", and "to write new rules for offshore oil an gas drilling under the guise of an 'America-First Offshore Energy Strategy". A source with knowledge of the matter said Cooper was also trying to arrange an immediate meeting with Zinke. The governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued a joint statement denouncing it.

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