After Florida Gets Offshore Drilling Exemption, Other States Ask For The Same

Violet Powell
January 13, 2018

"I have spent my entire life fighting to keep oil rigs away from our coasts, but suddenly Secretary Zinke announces plans to drill off Florida's coast and four days later agrees to 'take Florida off the table?' I don't believe it", Nelson said.

The 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program released by the Bureau of Energy Management (BOEM) outlines 47 individual lease tracts along the outer-continental shelf spanning the entire USA coastline. If it did, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia would not be a part of this plan.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions - who allegedly involved himself in the effort to oust former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey with a false pretext, repeatedly misled the Senate on his Russian Federation contacts, supported the noxious Muslim ban, has demonized illegal immigrants for a nonexistent crime wave (thereby justifying a war on so-called sanctuary cities) and reversed a promise made to senators when he chose to reactivate enforcement of marijuana laws against ordinary users - is arguably the most unsafe and malicious member of the president's Cabinet. The Interior Department's five-year plan would open 90 percent of the nation's offshore oil reserves to development by private companies. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted, New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either.

"The Trump Administration, through their decision on Florida, has admitted that offshore drilling is a threat to coastal economies and tourism", Cooper said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. Not to mention administrative law requirements that protect against "arbitrary and capricious" actions. On Tuesday night, Secretary Zinke tweeted that after meeting with Governor Rick Scott, Florida would be exempted from the plan. The plan, which calls for 19 lease sales off Alaska, risks disaster for oceans and climate.

"Our tourism is as important to OR as tourism is to Florida", she said, adding that drilling would also be a detriment to her state's natural resource industries.

No, Mr. Secretary, Florida's coastal tourism industry isn't "unique". Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Edward J. Markey of MA, said its proposed New England Coastal Protection Act would block any drilling that put "vital coastline at risk and threaten [ed] a central economic engine for New England".

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Well, Delaware's coast is reliant on tourism as an economic driver, as well, and one significant spill could destroy this community's economy for generations.

"Tourism and recreation along the DE coastline account for billions in economic activity each year, and support tens of thousands of jobs", Governor John Carney of DE, a Democrat, said in a Twitter post Wednesday morning. 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.

All this could be at risk. More recently, Moncrief says, he didn't speak out when the Trump administration weakened drilling safety regulations. That should have been the end of it.

The Trump administration created a political oil spill this week when it exempted Florida from offshore drilling. "This is a matter of serious importance to us in SC".

Kate Brown is speaking out on behalf of Oregon's coastal communities.

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