Gov. Inslee demands Trump administration not drill off Washington coast

  • Gov. Inslee demands Trump administration not drill off Washington coast

Gov. Inslee demands Trump administration not drill off Washington coast

Initially the Interior Department moved to allow offshore oil and gas drilling in almost all of the United States' coastal waters, but then announced it has dropped plans to open up the waters off the coast of Florida, following fierce opposition by Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott.

"Democrats have argued that Trump and Zinke were being hypocritical by agreeing to a request by Florida's Republican governor to withdraw from the drilling plan, but not making the same accommodation to states with Democratic governors". Zinke spoke with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday.

"We are outraged; this is absolutely unacceptable", she said of the drilling plan. Leaders in California, Oregon, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington have also requested exemptions.

Industry groups praised the announcement to drill offshore, while environmental groups denounced the plan, saying it would harm America's oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life. Currently, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has proposed a single public meeting to take place in Richmond, almost 100 miles from the coastal communities that will feel the impacts of the plan most.

Governor Jay Inslee
Governor Jay Inslee Verified account @GovInslee

After that decision was made, a large backlash of coastal states all over the country inquired why only Florida was removed.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders denied the administration gave special treatment to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, an ally of President Donald Trump who is considered a likely Senate candidate later this year. If it is safe off the coast of SC, why is it not safe in Florida. "As a result of discussion with Governor Scott and his leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms".

Brown is at least the eighth governor to set up phone calls with Zinke over his proposal to open up offshore oil and natural gas drilling permits between 2019 and 2024 on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The five-year plan would open 90 percent of the nation's offshore reserves to development by private companies.