Trump unites Democrats and Republicans - to oppose his offshore drilling plan

Trump unites Democrats and Republicans - to oppose his offshore drilling plan

The backlash could complicate President Donald Trump's efforts to expand oil and gas production offshore.

"The eastern Gulf of Mexico was believed to be the most tempting new prospect for oil companies in the expansive Trump administration draft, because it is close to existing pipelines and processing facilities - not to mention the refineries in Texas and Louisiana". But the exemption of Florida - whose GOP governor objected to the plan - stirred more Republicans to protest the proposal.

In Washington, they include Democratic Sens.

Zinke's action is especially outrageous because Florida — unlike California, Washington and other states — did not expressly oppose the drilling proposal in written comments submitted to the Interior Department, Cantwell said. Bill Nelson, a long-time opponent of offshore drilling.

Some analysts see the Florida case as politically motivated, but whatever the reasons, the governors of Oregon, Washington, New York, Virginia, and nearly all others except for Alaska and ME, demanded that their states be exempt, too.

Brown on Wednesday argued the same principle applies to OR, where she says the state's beaches were a $2 billion industry previous year with more than 20,000 jobs.

State Rep. Al Williams, a Democrat from the hamlet of Midway on Georgia's seashore, called the White House plan "a bad idea that could have profound negative effects on Georgia's coast".

Moriarty said bureau regulations say that if a lease is issued for a specific use, including wind or oil drilling, "we may consider a request for other uses, as long as those uses do not unreasonably interfere with the original leaseholder's enjoyment of its lease".

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.

Dozens of Atlantic coastal communities, including Brunswick, Savannah and St. Marys, have signed resolutions in past years opposing exploration due to environmental, tourism and fishing concerns.

Governors of those states who do not want the ban on offshore drilling lifted - and so far that's just about all of them - should treat Florida's successful appeal as a template for their own appeals.

"What else am I supposed to think?"

Placement of oil rigs, and wind turbines, remain years away.

In a statement, LePage said offshore drilling has the potential to create jobs and energy independence, and that sensitive areas would not be included in the final plan.

"If local voices matter why haven't they excluded Virginia?"

"In this case Governor Deal can learn from our neighbors and send a clear message against drilling off Georgia coasts", she said.

Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also blasted the turnaround, retweeting a video from the Interior Department in which Zinke announced the move with Scott, adding: "Is this thing on?"

Zinke announced last week that the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024, which would flip the current status of being 94 percent off-limits to more than 90 percent available for drilling, would be "the right balance to protect our coasts and people while still powering America and achieving American energy dominance". But the decision to do so will be neither durable nor fair if it comes by selectively ignoring the complaints of states in which the president does not identify a political or personal interest.

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