OR governor says Zinke considering exempting state from offshore drilling plan

Gov. Inslee wants Washington removed from drilling plan

Governor-elect Ralph Northam Thursday requested an exemption to the Trump administration's plan to allow offshore drilling in almost all of United States coastal waters. Initially the Interior Department moved to allow offshore oil and gas drilling in almost all of the United States' coastal waters, but then announced it has dropped plans to open up the waters off the coast of Florida, following fierce opposition by Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott.

Democrats, among others, immediately speculated that the exemption was approved in. "This is a political stunt orchestrated by the Trump administration to help Rick Scott who has wanted to drill off Florida's coast his entire career".

"This is about playing politics with our coast", Sierra Weaver, Senior Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), said.

Zinke's decision to exempt Florida from the administration's offshore drilling plan also raised questions as to why other states with unique coastlines and a reliance on tourism ― like California or SC, for example ― don't deserve the same treatment.

For now, Zinke appears to have tuned out pleas from leaders in blue states. "I'm incredibly proud of our diversity", Scott said in the statement.

There has already been significant pushback among those communities, however. "Florida, we have to remember, we are a tourism state". Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), a longtime opponent of offshore drilling. But he, too, said the federal government should defer to local officials. "Every governor has to decide what's in the best interest of their state".

"If this report is true, it is absolutely wrong to say or think this".

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Other GOP senators like Sen.

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. "I mean, you can't see them from the shore", Kennedy told HuffPost on Wednesday.

The administration was well aware that not all the areas being opened the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) will be areas in which drilling will take place.

Governor-elect Northam released a statement condemning the Trump administration's plan earlier this month.

"New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either", New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) wrote. The moratorium, which Nelson helped champion, is set to expire in 2022. Tourism and watermen reps worry that any spill like the Deepwater Horizon would devastate them.

"Last year I spoke with Sec". By the end of 2013, cleanup crews had from along the Gulf Coast.

"This proposal mirrors past proposals that have run into a buzzsaw of state opposition", David Hayes, who was the Interior Department's deputy secretary and COO during periods of the Clinton and Obama administrations, told Inside Climate News, commenting on the initial draft plan proposal.

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