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13 January 2018, 04:05 | Glen Norman
Trump Expands Offshore Drilling in “Assault” on Biodiversity and Coastal & Indigenous Communities
The oil drilling advocate said he was "disappointed" with the Trump administration's decision to exempt the state of Florida from the offshore drilling plan. "I want to thank Secretary Zinke for coming down to meet with me and we got this resolved quickly".
Several other states have objected, but Florida was the only one to receive an exemption after its Republican governor complained.
"I grew up on Virginia's Eastern Shore and can tell you firsthand that the Chesapeake Bay and the Commonwealth's ocean and coastal resources are every bit as ecologically and economically valuable as those of Florida, a state that was recently exempted from the leasing plan", Governor-elect Northam writes.
In a posting on his Facebook page, Sen.
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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".
"If that's your standard, we, too, should be removed from your list". Menendez asked. "Will having three Trump golf courses help?"
Governor-elect Ralph Northam has followed up a letter by Governor-until-Saturday Terry McAuliffe urging U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to keep Virginia under an offshore drilling moratorium. "So, I oppose offshore drilling".
With Florida going to Trump in the race, and with the governor's senate ambitions, Nelson added that Zinke's move smacked of political favor.
Industry groups praised the announcement to drill offshore, while environmental groups denounced the plan, saying it would harm America's oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life.
Nelson said that, with the offshore draft lease plan up for public comment, but changing, it was unclear exactly what Zinke's department meant to do offshore. Irma's landfall in Florida shortly afterward upended the national energy sector because the state has no refineries and other markets had to work overtime to make up the difference.
"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.
Scott said he wanted communities in coastal parts of his state "engaged more in the process" before proceeding.
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