Blumenthal Statement on Trump Expansion of Offshore Drilling

Blumenthal Statement on Trump Expansion of Offshore Drilling

The proposal drew howls of protest from Republican and Democratic leaders in Florida, where offshore drilling is something of a third-rail political issue. "Our state has shown that we can have a growing economy along with environmental protections, and we have made it very clear, again and again, that we do not want to put our fisheries, our beaches, or our coastal economies at risk just to enrich the fossil fuel industry".

The Administration of Donald Trump announced a plan to expand, in federal waters, the areas designated for the exploitation of gas and oil in California and other states of the country such as Georgia and Maine.

California has to block the Trump administration's plan to not only permit but promote offshore drilling for gas and oil along our majestic 804 miles of coastline.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, sent to face the press on Thursday, emphasized that the plan was a "draft" program.

"This moves America in the wrong direction and has the potential to have a negative lasting effect on our oceans as well as the shorelines of states on these coasts", Reichert said.

But conservationists and lawmakers have attacked the proposal. "Allowing us to explore our offshore energy will boost our state economy and spur investment -- all while safely coexisting with our agriculture, tourism and fishing industries as well as USA military operations", council Executive Director David Mica said in a statement.

But critics argued that far from helping the economy, the government was betting on an industry in decline.

Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of ME, told the Banger Daily News that seafood harvesting and tourism would be under threat from offshore drilling because "where there is drilling there is spilling".

About the only people who are happy about the plan, other than the Trump administration and some Republicans in Congress, are oil company executives.

The proposal quickly drew fire from Florida politicians on both sides of the aisle. They called, they signed petitions, wrote letters, went to city council meetings, held rallies and wrote op-ed essays and letters to the editor; some even traveled multiple times to Washington to meet with their representatives. "And we're going to fight Trump every step of the way". Jerry Brown, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee - all Democrats - vowed to "do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action". "My top priority is to ensure that Florida's natural resources are protected, which is why I proposed $1.7 billion for the environment in this year's budget".

Instead, the administration has proposed to open nearly all of the nation's potential offshore oil and gas reserves to exploration. President Barack Obama blocked Atlantic and Pacific drilling under a five-year plan finalized in 2016.

Previously protected territory in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska will now likely be the site of exploration and drilling. The Jersey Shore is being considered for the first time in a long time.

The new 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 between 2019 and 2024. The state still has some sway over what happens in federal waters, but its determinations can be overturned by the federal government, Hecht said.