Trump Proposes To Open Nearly All US Waters To Offshore Drilling


"As the Department of Interior works to finalize their draft plan, I urge Secretary Zinke to recognize the Florida Congressional delegation's bipartisan efforts to maintain and extend the moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and remove this area for future planning purposes".

When the Obama Administration announced plans to open up the Atlantic to drilling in 2016, the City of Beaufort was the first municipality in SC to pass a resolution in opposition.

But don't look for new oil platforms to pop up anytime soon.

"They've chosen to forget the utter devastation of past offshore oil spills to wildlife and to the fishing, recreation and tourism industries in our states", Governor Jerry Brown said in a joint statement with Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

"We will deepen commitment to environmental stewardship, because we do it right", he said.

"We're embarking on a new path for energy dominance in America, particularly on offshore", Zinke said. "We're in uncharted territory in a serious way".

West Coast officials were quick to respond.

"For more than 30 years, our shared coastline has been protected from further federal drilling and we'll do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action", the statement read.

Sen. Kamala Harris called it "an incredibly harmful move." Sen.

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While some lawmakers in those states support offshore drilling, the plan drew immediate opposition from governors up and down the East Coast, including Republican Govs.

Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a statement saying he has asked to meet Mr Zinke to discuss his concerns with the latest plan. In April, however, an executive order by Trump required the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to start preparing a new National Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024, which would open parts of the Atlantic to offshore drilling. "Drilling for oil inevitably leads to leaks and spills". For decades, oil and gas drilling have been well established in these waters.

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) is introducing SB 834, which would ban new pipelines, piers, wharves, or other infrastructure that would go through state waters.

Although the Trump plan doesn't deal with the Chesapeake Bay directly, advocates say half of the estuary's water comes from the Atlantic - not to mention much of its life. The state still has some sway over what happens in federal waters, but its determinations can be overturned by the federal government, Hecht said.

Many other California cities and counties followed suit, including Sonoma, San Mateo, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties.

"They still stand today and those tend to have a chilling effect on leasing by an oil company because they aren't going to have anywhere to take any oil or gas they might find", said Charter. Wheeler added that EPIC is against the Trump administration's decision. Nearly all of that was produced inland, in Kern County and parts of Southern California, but the state's offshore platforms still produced about 11 million barrels, mainly off the coasts of Santa Barbara and Long Beach.

"This plan is an assault on Florida's economy, our national security, the will of the public and the environment", Nelson said.

But environmentalists said they still fear the potential damage from new offshore drilling.

In comments to the Department of the Interior, Chevron expressed interest in opening the Pacific Coast for leasing, but ranked Southern California as seventh on their priority list, after regions in the Gulf and Atlantic.