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NC, SC Governors Want States Exempt From Offshore Drilling Expansion

12 Janvier 2018

A last-minute meeting at the Tallahassee Airport turned into a political victory for Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday when the Trump administration announced offshore drilling was "off the table" for the Sunshine State.

"In addition, for a state whose tourism economy is dependent on a secure and affordable transportation fuel supply, failure to secure domestic production and supply of fuels actually is a greater economic risk than offshore development".

We support the oil industry taking advantage of opportunities to tap into the nation's vast resources, but we also acknowledge the need for oversight to ensure the safety of the environment, the people and the coastal economies dependant on oil-free waters.

He added that the apparent deal struck between Zinke and Scott infuriated other Atlantic coast governors like New York's Andrew Cuomo (D) who asked where he could get a waiver from the White House.

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said it would boost the economy and ensure US "energy dominance", but environmentalists decried it as a "shameful giveaway" to the oil industry.

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. So far, Florida is the only state Zinke has made a ruling on, however.

Some Republicans are keen on the drilling plan, with Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski calling it a "positive step". Bill Nelson said he believes the sudden change of decision should not be credited to Governor Scott. "We can not take a chance with those resources, those industry and that economy. This is a matter of serious importance to us in SC".

"In the current commodity pricing environment, I don't see a lot of appetite on laying down new infrastructure", Imran Khan, who leads Wood Mackenzie's commercial valuation team for oil and gas projects in the Gulf, told CNBC.

Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said his administration would use "any viable legal claims, actions or suits against the USA government to prevent".

Democrats were just as upset. Perhaps this is why Governor Cooper has come out forcefully against drilling off our coast.

Surprising to many observers was the inclusion of seven potential lease sales off the Pacific coastline from California to Washington.

Zinke said the decision was a culmination of multiple meetings between Scott and Trump administration officials. "Wonder why ..." Kaine said.

"We'd like a word in Virginia", Ralph Northam, the state's governor-elect, tweeted in response to Zinke. He represents the northern two-thirds of the coast, and disagrees with his fellow Republican members of Congress from North Carolina.

Democratic governors along both coasts unanimously oppose drilling, as have a number of Republican governors, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker.

Environmental groups Greenpeace and the League of Conservation Voters called the move to protect Florida a political ploy meant to bolster the governor who is reportedly planning to run for an open U.S. Senate seat.

After the Trump administration promised Florida that the state would be exempt from expanded offshore oil drilling, other coastal states had just one question: "What about us?" "Our 'local and state voice" is firmly opposed to any and all offshore drilling.

NC, SC Governors Want States Exempt From Offshore Drilling Expansion