Winning: Trump to open huge swaths of coastline for oil drilling

Javier Stokes
January 6, 2018

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he will fight to stop drilling off the coast of his state.

The announcement was the latest from the Trump administration to split the state's two leading Republicans, Hogan and Rep. Andy Harris of Baltimore County - both of whom face reelection this year.

West Coast elected officials were quick to condemn the plan. Jerry Brown and scores of environmentalists.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the plan, saying that responsible development of offshore energy resources would boost jobs and economic security while providing billions of dollars to fund conservation along USA coastlines.

As per reports, over the next five years, more than 90 per cent of the offshore reserves of the United States would be accessible to the energy companies for drilling.

The Department of the Interior is proposing lease sales from Northern to Southern California beginning in 2020, as well as in Alaska and on the Atlantic Coast.

"This is a draft program", Zinke told reporters during a conference call.

The expanded drilling program will be conducted between 2019 and 2024.

"This plan is an assault on Florida's economy, our national security, the will of the public and the environment", Nelson said.

When the Obama Administration announced plans to open up the Atlantic to drilling in 2016, the City of Beaufort was the first municipality in SC to pass a resolution in opposition.

A coalition of more than 60 environmental groups denounced the plan, saying it would impose "severe and unacceptable harm" to America's oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life.

HBO announces release date for 'Game of Thrones' finale
A news release from HBO announced that credits for season 8 will include: series creators David Benioff and D.B. As the final season is expected to feature a lot of battle scenes, the show may require more special effects.

"The waters off the mouth of the Chesapeake are as much a part of the bay system as all the fresh-water rivers that feed it", Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker said in a statement.

"These ocean waters are not President Trump's personal playground", read a statement signed by members of the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters and other environmental groups.

He also noted it was a draft proposal that could change after public input. But the proposal further solidifies the Trump administration's broader energy policy that has included ending USA participation in the 2015 Paris Climate agreement and wide-ranging efforts to ramp up oil, gas and coal production. The accident on BP's Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and triggered the biggest offshore oil spill in USA history.

"The Trump administration's plan not only ignores the risky nature of dirty and unsafe drilling, but also the people and coastal businesses who would be most affected".

"We will deepen commitment to environmental stewardship, because we do it right", he said. And a campaign director at Oceana says there is "widespread" opposition at the local level to drilling expansion.

Members of the S.C. House of Representative formed a subcommittee a year ago to look at the pros and cons of leases for offshore testing and drilling. "Will we allow Florida's white beaches or the popular and pristine Outer Banks to share a similar fate?" There have been no new sales in the Pacific region since 1984.

"They've chosen to forget the utter devastation of past offshore oil spills to wildlife and to the fishing, recreation and tourism industries in our states", the three western governors said.

Scott, the Florida governor, said he has asked for an immediate meeting with Zinke to discuss his concerns. "My top priority is to ensure that Florida's natural resources are protected, which is why I proposed $1.7 billion for the environment in this year's budget". "It must be opposed to the fullest extent that is legally possible".

California was the site of the first offshore drilling in the US more than 120 years ago, but the region was tarnished by one of the worst spills in USA history in 1969, when more than 3 million gallons of oil poured into the ocean near Santa Barbara.

The administration could begin selling leases to drill in the Atlantic and other closed-off areas as early as 2019 if the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management speeds through the planning process this year.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article