Monday, 24 September, 2018

Christie wants Trump admin to exempt NJ from offshore drilling

Republicans and Democrats in Florida found something they can agree on they're against offshore oil drilling on the Florida Gulf coast Republicans and Democrats in Florida found something they can agree on they're against offshore oil drilling on the Florida Gulf coast
Melinda Barton | 12 January, 2018, 20:11

Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's decision to give Florida a last-minute exemption while ignoring at least 10 other states that made similar requests may violate requirements of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which governs drilling in US coastal waters. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, sought to have waters off his state's coastline exempted from consideration. On Tuesday night, Secretary Zinke tweeted that after meeting with Governor Rick Scott, Florida would be exempted from the plan.

Scott had objected to the proposal because drilling could imperil the state's reliance on tourism as an economic driver. The same Republican governor who, for a hot second, said he supported drilling in the Everglades and advocated for offshore oil drilling even after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion as long as Florida's beaches were protected.

When the Trump administration recently announced plans to expand access to offshore drilling, Governor Scott immediately opposed it and called for a meeting with Secretary Zinke.

"It was the perception of visitors thinking the entire gulf coast was ruined, that we saw a dramatic decrease in our revenues that summer and it had a ripple effect through the entire economy", he said.

"With America more energy secure now than ever, Trump's fear-mongering and falsehoods about our country's energy supply reveal a shameless agenda to prop up oil and gas industries at the expense of coastal fishing, recreation economies and the environment", Wyden said.

"It would be a huge mistake to weaken these safety regulations and risk not only lives but catastrophic consequences to our environment", the letter states, adding, "We urge you to reject these ill-advised proposals".

Zinke says it's part of the Trump administration's plan for "energy dominance".

No governor should. Will the Trump administration support one and oppose the others?

It opens up more than 90% of the national outer continental shelf (OCS) for development - making more than 98% of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in federal offshore areas available to private companies.

Scott has spent the last few years developing close ties with both President Donald Trump and his administration and is seen as one of the president's top political supporters - a support which seems to go both ways.

"I'm appreciative that the Secretary came to Tallahassee to sit down and talk about it", said Scott. Zinke, containing a number of questions. Scott, a Trump ally, is expected to challenge U.S. Sen.

"But I believe the fact that he has the ear of the President....at the end of the day it's good for the Democrat and good for the Republican".

"For someone to suggest that they're protecting Florida coast when they've done nothing to move away from unsafe fossil fuels - which is creating climate impacts like sea level rise, which threaten our coasts", Glckman said.