Like Florida, Virginia seeks offshore drilling exemption

Secretary Zinke Announces Plan For Unleashing America's Offshore Oil and Gas Potential | U.S. Department of the

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New Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon said he is personally "opposed to both offshore drilling and seismic testing", stating that, "New drilling off the Atlantic shore, where existing tourism economies already employ millions of people and contribute massively to state coffers, seems especially foolhardy".

The Trump administration last week proposed opening up almost all United States offshore water to oil and gas drilling - a move, it said, that would boost the economy and ensure USA "energy dominance".

"Quite frankly, Gov. Scott called me and [also] expressed in writing a desire to have a meeting", he said.

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. Florida was not among the states that requested exclusion from the drilling plan a year ago, including California, Oregon, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington.

Zinke announced proudly that the program "proposes the largest number of lease sales in USA history".

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That's the same Rick Scott who banned his state's employees from using the term "climate change", which is ironic because climate change will be the long-term result of the USA drilling and using more oil, causing sea level rises that will inundate more of Florida.

Florida has become the first U.S. state to secure an undertaking from the government that no new offshore drilling permits will be issued for its coastline to protect its tourism industry. "We shouldn't be playing politics with the future of Florida".

"You have a tremendous governor that is straightforward, easy to work for, says exactly what he means", Zinke said. "But there's places where resources are sensitive, and there's places where we're not going to go forward with [drilling for oil] and one of them is off the coast of Florida". "If the current pattern had been normal that oil spill would have spread much further down the Southern coast, even into the coral reef track of the keys", said Crosby. "If it's truly about "local voice" - not just protecting President Trump's Mar-a-Lago - then make this same commitment for Virginia".

But taking Florida off the table sparked even more backlash from almost all other coastal states along the Pacific and the Atlantic, with governors and representatives demanding the states they represent be exempt, too.

Deep-sea oil drilling off nearly all coastlines in the United States, both on the Atlantic and Pacific sides, are being given the green light by the Trump administration.

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Nelson, expected to face a re-election challenge this year from Scott, said he sent Zinke a letter Wednesday raising numerous questions, including just what exactly is off the table.

"Virginia's governor (and governor-elect) have made this same request, but we have not received the same commitment", Sen. The fishing, boating and recreational industries would be debilitated by any oil spill along the Atlantic.

"Senator Nelson ought to be happy", he said. The decision to exclude Florida also has prompted other coastal states to ask the Trump administration for equal treatment. The 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which sets procedures for deciding which areas will be opened to offshore drilling, has not be tested like this before.

Sierra Club Florida Director Frank Jackalone said the decision was "a purely political move to aid the ambitions of Rick Scott". "To say that a meeting with one governor changes the secretary's mind and to announce that Florida's no longer in it when there's no discussion of those public comments, when the process hasn't played out, when we can not see in writing what the secretary considers relevant - that smacks very heavily of an arbitrary decision".

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