Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Northam requests Virginia exemption from Trump's offshore drilling plan

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee Washington state Governor Jay Inslee
Bennie Garza | 13 January, 2018, 02:05

A day after the Trump administration granted Florida Governor Rick Scott's request to not expand offshore drilling around his state, Governor Jay Inslee sent a letter to the Trump administration requesting that Washington's coast also be spared.

CYNICISM HAS always been a part of politics, but rarely are politicians so brazen and self-serving as President Trump and his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, have been over the past week. For eastern Long Island, the economy largely depends on its beaches - and commercial fishing stands alone as the only major industry not directly linked to resort and second-home business activities. "Oil spills and drilling infrastructure would be a awful legacy to leave our lovely coast and the communities and businesses that rely on oil-free beaches, marshes and ocean".

Zinke, in a meeting with the press, said his plan would put "more than 98 percent of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in federal offshore areas available to consider for future exploration and development".

Launching his vision of "deconstructing the administrative state", Trump issued as one of his first executive orders: "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs", ordering agencies to review (read: weaken or eliminate) hundreds of federal rules and regulations, and requiring that for every new regulation adopted two must be eliminated.

Shortly after the announcement, a bipartisan group of governors from states such as New York, Oregon and SC all asked publicly for their own special exceptions.

Elected officials from Florida to ME oppose opening up our oceans to the dangers of oil and gas drilling, yet here we see the Administration ignoring those concerns and proposing another massive give-away to the oil and gas industry. "I am opposed to seismic testing off of SC shore", he said.

"We can not afford to take a chance with the beauty, the majesty and the economic value and vitality of our wonderful coastline in SC". It is just too important.

"I don't know, maybe I have to buy Donald Trump a golf course in Washington or something to get him to protect us", Inslee said.

Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said his administration would use "any viable legal claims, actions or suits against the United States government to prevent".

It says nothing about state waters, and should.

Kate Brown continued to call out the Trump administration on Wednesday for what she sees as a political ploy to remove Florida, but not other coastal states such as OR, from the recently revealed federal offshore oil drilling proposal.

Democrats were just as upset. The administration is widely expected to give industry exactly what it wants - a relaxation of many of these drilling safeguards.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) both cried foul as well, as did Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R). "We've been clear: This would bring unacceptable risks to our economy, our environment, and our coastal communities".

Now, after the Trump administration opened nearly all United States federal waters to oil exploration and drilling, the battle to protect the oceans, as well as to slow global warming, must be taken to another level. "Wonder why." Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tweeted.

"We'd like a word in Virginia", Ralph Northam, the state's governor-elect, tweeted in response to Zinke.

"I don't want your kids ever to fight on foreign shores for a resource we have here", said Zinke after the meeting with Scott.

For example, one week after announcing this leasing proposal, the state of Florida was struck from the list of possible coastal drilling zones. "Bill Nelson, it looks like a political play to make Rick Scott look like some sort of a hero", Glickman said.

Interior Ryan Zinke made such a pledge on Tuesday in announcing that Florida will be excluded from the offshore drilling plan.



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