ibusinesslines.com September 26, 2018

NC Governor Cooper Seeks Offshore Drilling Exemption

12 January 2018, 08:37 | Melissa Porter

NC Governor Cooper Seeks Offshore Drilling Exemption

NC Governor Cooper Seeks Offshore Drilling Exemption

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 USA coastal waters.

During a visit to Manatee Technical College Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott praised the reversal of plans for offshore drilling in Florida.

"I support the governor's position that Florida is unique and its coast is heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver", the secretary said.

As Florida Politics reported Wednesday afternoon, Scott claims to have been "clear forever" in his opposition to offshore oil drilling.

Critics of the Trump administration's decision to exclude Florida from its offshore drilling plan say it has little to do with protecting the state's environment, and more to do with Gov. Rick Scott's political ambitions. Bill Nelson said he believes the sudden change of decision should not be credited to Governor Scott.

"He is a straightforward leader that can be trusted", Zinke said.

Democrats have accused the Trump administration of playing favors to states with Republican leadership and not giving the same treatment to coastal states with Democratic governors.

The Collier County Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday in support of Congressman Francis Rooney's efforts to stop a proposal to expand oil drilling off the coast of Florida.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has exempted the state of Florida from controversial plans for offshore drilling for oil and gas.

Scott is not alone in opposing the Interior Department proposal, which would open up 47 oil and gas exploration leases for sale, including six off the California coast, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico and 19 off the coast of Alaska.

Florida's economy has been threatened by drilling mishaps before: In 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon spill sent oil gushing into the waters near Louisiana and Mississippi, Florida lost millions of tourism dollars, Reuters reported.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra demanded Zinke to "immediately" remove California from the policy.

Governors of those states who do not want the ban on offshore drilling lifted - and so far that's just about all of them - should treat Florida's successful appeal as a template for their own appeals.

Despite the partial rollback of the plan, Zinke said the Trump administration was still dedicated to aggressively seeking energy resources throughout the country.

The plan now under review by the Department of the Interior, and requested by the White House, would allow oil drilling near Florida's Gulf coastline for the first time in decades. Zinke, containing a number of questions. Only states with Republican governors?

At risk could be a New Jersey tourism industry generating $44 billion annually and supporting 500,000 jobs, and a commercial fishing industry adding $7.9 billion a year to the state's economy and creating more than 50,000 jobs.

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