•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Senators from 12 states seek offshore drilling exemptions like Florida's

01:26  12 january  2018
01:26  12 january  2018 Source:   reuters.com

California has ample weapons to fight Trump on drilling

  California has ample weapons to fight Trump on drilling SAN FRANCISCO — In the decades since a 1969 oil spill near Santa Barbara tarred sea-life and gave rise to the U.S. environmental movement, politicians and environmental activists have built up ample ways to make it difficult but not impossible for the Trump administration to renew drilling off California's coast.TheThe Interior Department said Thursday it would open most federal waters off the United States to oil leases.

“Just like Florida , our states are unique with vibrant coastal economies,” wrote the 22 senators , who include Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California. “Providing all of our states with the same exemption from dangerous offshore oil and gas drilling

“Just like Florida , our states are unique with vibrant coastal economies,” wrote the 22 senators , who include Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris of California. “Providing all of our states with the same exemption from dangerous offshore oil and gas drilling

a large ship in a body of water: FILE PHOTO: An offshore oil platform is seen in Huntington Beach © REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo FILE PHOTO: An offshore oil platform is seen in Huntington Beach

Twenty-two Democratic U.S. senators from 12 states on Thursday joined the chorus of local representatives seeking exemptions from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's newly proposed offshore drilling plan, after his surprise move on Tuesday to shield Florida.

Zinke surprised lawmakers, governors, and industry groups on Tuesday night by announcing that Florida would be removed from the Interior Department's proposal to open up over 90 percent of federal waters to oil and gas leasing.

Zinke had met in Tallahasee with Republican Governor Rick Scott who told the Interior chief that drilling puts his state's coastal tourism economy at risk. Scott is widely expected to challenge Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

Q&A: Plan to expand offshore drilling draws cheers, jeers

  Q&A: Plan to expand offshore drilling draws cheers, jeers The energy industry is cheering the Trump administration's proposal to open nearly all U.S. coastlines to offshore oil and gas drilling, saying it will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign supplies and create jobs.Independent experts are dubious. Independent experts are dubious. They cite strong opposition — even from Republicans — to some ocean drilling and question whether oil companies will invest in expensive new offshore projects when there are abundant reserves in shale on the U.S. mainland.

"Just like Florida , our states are unique with vibrant coastal economies," wrote the 22 senators , who include Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris of California. "Providing all of our states with the same exemption from dangerous offshore oil and gas drilling

"Just like Florida , our states are unique with vibrant coastal economies," wrote the 22 senators , who include Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California. "Providing all of our states with the same exemption from dangerous offshore oil and gas drilling

The White House dismissed suggestions that Florida's exemption was a political favor to Scott. "I am not aware of any political favor that that would have been part of," spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

"Just like Florida, our states are unique with vibrant coastal economies," wrote the 22 senators, who include Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris of California. "Providing all of our states with the same exemption from dangerous offshore oil and gas drilling would ensure that vital industries from tourism to recreation to fishing are not needlessly placed in harm’s way," they wrote.

Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Swift said Zinke intends to meet with every coastal governor affected by the agency's proposed offshore drilling plan, a process that could take a year.

Is the White House declaring a policy war on California?

  Is the White House declaring a policy war on California? It's Washington versus California on marijuana, climate change, offshore oil drilling and immigration this week as bubbling disagreements between President Donald Trump's administration and California all seemed to spill over at once. The Trump administration picked a notable moment to undo the Obama-era legal guidance that seemed to give states leeway to legalize marijuana: four days after California, the nation's largest and most important state economically, officially legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.Coincidence? There's more.

"Just like Florida , our states are unique with vibrant coastal economies," wrote the 22 senators , who include Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris of California. "Providing all of our states with the same exemption from dangerous offshore oil and gas drilling

“Just like Florida , our states are unique with vibrant coastal economies,” wrote the 22 senators , who include Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California. “Providing all of our states with the same exemption from dangerous offshore oil and gas drilling

Democrats are not alone in pressuring Zinke to exempt their states from drilling. South Carolina's Republican Governor Henry McMaster asked Zinke for an exemption, citing the value of his state's coastal tourist economy.

Maine Governor Paul LePage and Alaska Governor Bill Walker are the only coastal state governors who support the expansion of offshore drilling, with many of the rest seeking exemptions in the wake of the Florida decision.

Zinke's abrupt announcement on Florida also took industry groups by surprise.

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi called the move "disappointing and premature" while American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said it puts thousands of jobs at stake.

Industry groups and companies told Reuters last week that the eastern Gulf of Mexico and parts of the southern Atlantic were most attractive to drillers despite 90 percent of federal waters being on offer. [L8N1P049V]

The Interior Department has declined to answer repeated requests for detail on which parts of those areas might be off limits due to Florida's exemption - saying only "all of Florida."

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by David Gregorio)

Not just Florida: Tourism big in other states opposing coastal drilling .
Not just Florida: Tourism big in other states opposing coastal drillingBut several other states opposed to oil and gas drilling off their coasts are similarly dependent on tourism, according to a Reuters review of economic data - a fact that could make it hard for the administration to reject similar requests, and complicate its efforts to expand drilling.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!