losangelesnewstoday.com
losangelesnewstoday.com January 23, 2018


Ryan Zinke removes Florida from offshore drilling plan

13 January 2018, 12:54 | Katrina Lee

Illustration by Mark Buzek The Palm Beach Post

Illustration by Mark Buzek  The Palm Beach Post

By Wednesday afternoon, state attorneys general, joined by environmental groups, were suggesting that Zinke had undermined the entire drilling rule with his high-profile visit to Tallahassee, Florida, where he heaped praise on "straightforward, easy to work for" Gov. Rick Scott, R - a political ally whom Trump has repeatedly urged to run for the U.S. Senate.

Only days into the official comment period on the Trump administration's plan to open almost all USA waters to offshore drilling, the administration has exposed this plan for exactly what it is - playing politics with our coast.

Is this thing on?

"Dear Secretary Zinke, California like Florida, has hundreds of miles of lovely coastline and a governor who wants to keep it that way". One can not help but compare this episode to the tax bill Mr. Trump just signed, which strips deductions from taxpayers in blue states in order to fund various GOP ideological priorities.

"Florida is obviously unique", Zinke said.

The Trump Administration's plan to sell off our ocean waters to the oil industry poses a major, unacceptable risk to Maine's coastal communities and marine life.

In a letter to Zinke, Cooper added: "Coastal tourism generates $3 billion annually in North Carolina and supports more than 30,000 jobs in the eastern part of the state".

Democrats, who view Scott as the GOP's best challenger to Sen.

Nowhere is the Trump administration's historic assault on our natural environment more worrisome than his reckless push for increased offshore oil and gas drilling.

It says nothing about state waters, and should.

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Meanwhile, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, told reporters in South Carolina he plans to ask the Trump administration for an exemption, calling it "a matter of serious importance".

As of right now New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Oregon and Washington have all opposed offshore drilling plans. "We can not take a chance with those resources, those industry and that economy".

"The secretary has said since day one that he is interested in hearing the local voice", she said.

In Oregon, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown took to Twitter to ask Zinke for relief.

The fishing and tourism industries are the backbone of our coastal economy.

"Mr. President, I must say I've seen political games being played with trying to drill off of the coast of Florida", said U.S. Sen.

"For someone to suggest that they're protecting Florida coast when they've done nothing to move away from unsafe fossil fuels - which is creating climate impacts like sea level rise, which threaten our coasts", Glckman said.

Just two years ago, facing pressure from communities, businesses and associations, and political leaders across the South and the political spectrum, the Obama administration scrapped a controversial plan to open the Southeast Atlantic coast to industrial oil and gas development for the first time.

With states and environmentalists expected to strongly oppose and even sue, the timeline for the final program approval could be further pushed off, and it's possible that there will be no lease sales-let alone drilling-in the next few years.

Following is a statement from Lisa Pohlmann, executive director, Natural Resources Council of Maine, in response to the proposal to open Maine waters to drilling:The Trump Administration today released a risky five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic Ocean - including off the coast of Maine, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Arctic Ocean.



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