Trump Expands Offshore Drilling in "Assault" on Biodiversity and Coastal & Indigenous Communities

Democrats from coastal states are accusing the Trump administration of punishing their states and rewarding Republican governor Rick Scott

Democrats from coastal states are accusing the Trump administration of punishing their states and rewarding Republican governor Rick Scott

"The governors said Interior has chosen to forget the ". utter devastation of past offshore oil spills to wildlife and to the fishing, recreation and tourism industries".

The state is also important economically, with a multibillion-dollar tourism business built on sunshine and miles and miles of white sandy beaches.

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. Jerry Brown and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in condemning the plan last week that would open up both coasts of the United States to oil drilling platforms.

Other Republican governors also oppose the plan, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker. "Brown asked for the same consideration Florida recently received and noted broad opposition from Republicans, Democrats and independents across the state to any expansion of oil and gas drilling off of the California coast", according to the summary of the call.

Scott - who continues to deny the science behind climate change and has - is challenging Sen.

Cynicism has always been a part of politics, but rarely are politicians so brazen and self-serving as President Donald Trump and his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, have been over the past week. "I believe courts will strike this down".

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Zinke said last week that the drilling plan called for responsible development that would boost jobs and economic security while providing billions of dollars to fund conservation along USA coastlines.

"We urge you to honor the commitment of this Administration by listening to the local and state voices that we represent and to respect their overwhelming opposition to oil and gas drilling off our coasts".

Interior proposes to make more than 90 percent of the total outer shelf acreage and more than 98 percent of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in federal offshore areas available to consider for exploration and development.

Last week, the Trump Administration announced a controversial plan to dramatically expand drilling leases across 90 percent of the USA outer continental shelf, including the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and parts of the Arctic Ocean.

A coalition of more than 60 environmental groups denounced the plan, saying it would impose "severe and unacceptable harm" to America's oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life.

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