OR governor says Zinke considering exempting state from offshore drilling plan

Gov. Inslee wants Washington removed from drilling plan

After flip on Florida, Inslee wants Washington waters saved from drilling, too

Interior Secretary for the United States, Ryan Zinke, has proposed a new offshore drilling plan aimed at opening more areas for oil explorations.

It took approximately no time for leaders in other drilling-skeptical states to call Zinke on his words.

"California is also "unique" & our 'coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver, ' " California Attorney General Xavier Becerra tweeted.

Zinke said Tuesday that "Florida is obviously unique" and that the decision to remove the state came after meetings and discussion with Scott.

Brown previously criticized Zinke for the plan to resume drilling for oil and gas off the shores of the US, saying it would endanger Oregon's coast.

Scott, who is expected to run for Senate later this year, came out against the Trump administration plan when it was first announced, saying his top priority is to ensure that Florida's natural resources are protected.

"This political decision to open the magnificent and attractive Pacific Coast waters to oil and gas drilling flies in the face of decades of strong opposition on the part of Washington, Oregon and California - from Republicans and Democrats alike", they said in a joint statement. "Where do we sign up for a waiver?" wrote New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, also a Democrat. "The president made it very clear that local voices count".

Zinke flew to Tallahassee on Tuesday to meet in person with Scott - a staunch Trump ally who pushed back against the administration's offshore proposal even before an official announcement.

Almost every governor of states on the East and West coasts have demanded to be exempted from the proposal after Zinke granted an exemption to Florida this week over economic and environmental concerns following a meeting with Gov. Rick Scott (R).

"I have spent my entire life fighting to keep oil rigs away from our coasts", Nelson on Tuesday. "Secretary Zinke agreed with concerns about the economic risks that offshore drilling could bring to OR and committed to work with the governor". "I believe courts will strike this down".

The five-year plan would open 90 percent of the nation's offshore reserves to development by private companies, Zinke said, with 47 leases proposed off the nation's coastlines from 2019 to 2024.

It is still unclear how much industry interest there would be in offshore drilling in the area when there may be many other more promising areas to explore offshore or known reserves to develop onshore. The plan follows Trump's executive order in April encouraging more drilling rights in federal waters, part of the administration's strategy to help the US achieve "energy dominance" in the global market.

These Senators strongly oppose the Trump Administration's offshore drilling plan, which is bad for the environment and public health and could devastate coastal economies.

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