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Cooper Asks Feds to Exempt NC From Offshore Drilling

Cooper Asks Feds to Exempt NC From Offshore Drilling”

Mark Warner, D-Va., called Trump's plan "a complete non-starter".

But taking Florida off the table sparked even more backlash from almost all other coastal states along the Pacific and the Atlantic, with governors and representatives demanding the states they represent be exempt, too.

"There's always politics in anything that happens involving Florida that happens in an election year", said Susan MacManus, a political scientist at the University of South Florida.

"The secretary has said since day one that he is interested in the local voice".

In just the last few weeks, the Trump Administration has eliminated drilling safety standards put in place after the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and it has heralded opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling as part of the tax bill.

"We are outraged. This is absolutely unacceptable", Brown said.

"I'm appreciative that the Secretary came to Tallahassee to sit down and talk about it", said Scott.

Asked to respond to reports of vocal opposition to that plan in coastal communities, Gerard stressed that "it's a first step in a long process", adding that "polls say Americans want their resources developed".

But Secretary Zinke's decision to take Florida off the table "should have his lawyers cringing", Hayes said. In an interview, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that the standards Zinke applied to Florida - the importance of tourism and coastal industries - were "standards that California can meet".

Commons
Commons

And Florida is where Trump has a winter home in Palm Beach.

"Governor Scott's strong leadership on this issue and President Trump's swift response were commendable, and I am proud that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle could unite to protect the Sunshine State", said the Trump ally.

"I support the governor's position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver", Zinke said in a statement. But the decision to do so will be neither durable nor fair if it comes by selectively ignoring the complaints of states in which the president does not identify a political or personal interest.

But, he said he did not like how Scott apparently got the state waived from an otherwise all-encompassing federal drilling plan.

Republican Congressman Walter Jones opposes drilling.

Democratic governors along both coasts unanimously oppose coastal drilling, as have a number of Republican governors, including Maryland's Gov. Larry Hogan, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Gov. Charles Baker of MA. "This is good policy for Florida".

The drilling proposal, announced last week, includes 47 potential lease sales in 25 of the 26 planning areas - 19 sales off the coast of Alaska, seven in the Pacific region, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, and nine in the Atlantic region.

Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift on Thursday released a statement that described the five-year draft plan for offshore drilling as an "open and public process" and said there will be revisions.

Industry groups praised the announcement, while environmental groups denounced the plan, saying it would harm America's oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life. Several governors, including leaders of Washington state, Delaware, Rhode Island and Maryland, asked for their states to be withdrawn from the plan and requested meetings with Zinke.

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