Governor Cooper urges Trump Administration to exempt NC from offshore drilling plan

Like Florida Virginia seeks offshore drilling exemption Ralph Northam

They rightly fear an oil spill that would cripple the multibillion-dollar coastal tourism economy that sustains much of the state, particularly Sussex County.

"WAIT! WHAT? Trump's removing Florida from the list of states to do offshore drilling after I've already rented my fracking equipment to drill off Mar-a-Lago?" The administration has surrendered any reason to refuse.

But less than a week after releasing the proposal - which would open up almost every inch of federal water to the possibility of offshore drilling - Secretary Ryan Zinke made an unexpected announcement on Twitter.

Zinke released a coinciding statement, saying the coast of Florida would be safe from offshore drilling and that the Trump administration cares about "local and state" voices. "The administration and Secretary Zinke shouldn't be playing politics with an issue that is so important to all of our futures, but especially so to Florida's future".

If exceptions are being made for other states, the governor will certainly pursue the same type of exception for New Jersey. But Zinke's claim that Florida is unique is flat-out wrong.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster - a vocal Trump supporter - told reporters in South Carolina on Wednesday that he opposes Trump's offshore drilling plan and will take "appropriate steps" to counter it, according to video provided to CNN.

Many states are reliant on coastal tourism and commerce as an economic driver, rendering Zinke's explanation farcical. "It is a huge concern of ours that instead of bringing jobs to eastern North Carolina, we could very easily lose just a huge amount of jobs".

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Scott called the meeting with Zinke "historic" and thanked him for reversing the decision. Why should Scott's be the only one heeded? This is a political stunt orchestrated by the Trump administration to help Rick Scott, who has wanted to drill off Florida's coast his entire career.

In that same speech, Nelson also announced that he has filed new legislation to implement a permanent ban on drilling off of Florida's coast.

These matters usually require years of study, taking into consideration the likely size and location of oil and gas deposits, ocean depth, currents, weather conditions, frequency of major storms and other factors. "If those governors would like to request meetings with the secretary, they are absolutely welcome to do so".

Many other states argue their coastline and waters are "unique" as well. The cost-benefit ratio calculation has been pushed away from drilling.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, took to Twitter to rhetorically ask why Florida was treated differently than Virginia in Trump's offshore drilling decision.

The governor's office said in a statement that he has "some concerns with opening up Georgia's pristine coastlines which he will convey to the congressional delegation".

The Trump Administration has also been busily undoing regulations enacted under President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the catastrophic BP Deepwater Horizon rig off the coast of Louisiana in 2010.

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