Cuomo to Trump: Oil drilling off NY coast would kill economy, wildlife

  • Cuomo to Trump: Oil drilling off NY coast would kill economy, wildlife

Cuomo to Trump: Oil drilling off NY coast would kill economy, wildlife

The Trump administration exempted Florida from consideration within days of announcing its plans to expand offshore drilling for oil and gas.

In a letter to Zinke, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that offshore drilling "poses an unacceptable threat" to New York's environment and economy, the New York Post reported. With this plan, the federal government is trampling on the interests of New Yorkers and threatening the future wellbeing of our state.

He also noted the state's support for offshore wind energy and the potential negative impact drilling may have on that expansion. Reversing that, the Trump administration issued a "draft" plan that would authorize nine new drilling-lease sales off the Atlantic - including two for the coast region that includes NY.

This would be a significant shift from existing policy, which prohibits drilling in a vast majority of the Outer Continental Shelf.

"We write to demonstrate that when it comes to protecting New Jersey's coast, New Jersey speaks with one voice, united in opposition to allowing drilling off our shores", the officials wrote.

Rick Scott said getting Florida off of President Donald Trump's oil and gas plan was a hard fought battle, though some critics said it smacked of political favor.

The Interior Department has no immediate response. Some lawmakers from North Carolina, New York and California have also said they want their states exempt.

Some governors questioned why Florida received a carve-out so quickly. Visitors to the state spent $111.7 billion there in 2016, according to the state's tourism marketing corporation, Visit Florida, accounting for about 12 percent of the state's gross domestic product.

Interior is obligated by law to consult with governors, congressional delegations and coastal communities as it crafts its plan. Other affected states have plans to oppose the lease sales as well.

Cuomo warned about the effects of a potential oil spoil, which he said would harm the state's tourism economy and coastal ecosystems.

"It introduces the unprecedented risk of extremely hazardous oil spills, contributes to the acceleration of climate change, and conflicts with New York's ambitious agenda to develop offshore wind energy", the governor said. New York's "Ocean Economy" (construction, living resources, minerals, ship building, tourism and recreation, and transportation) generates tens of billions of dollars in economic activity and provides hundreds of thousands of jobs. He also panned the proposal's impact on the state's push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by shifting to wind and other renewable energy sources.