Drilling plan carve-out for Florida may be illegal, senator says


"This proposal mirrors past proposals that have run into a buzzsaw of state opposition", David Hayes, who was the Interior Department's deputy secretary and COO during periods of the Clinton and Obama administrations, told Inside Climate News, commenting on the initial draft plan proposal. Mark Warner, D-Va., called Trump's plan "a complete non-starter".

In the shorter term, Cooper and other democrats face an uphill battle to convince Zinke to exempt North Carolina from the Trump Administration's drilling plan.

The senator said the change appeared to be politically motivated.

"The secretary has said since day one that he is interested in the local voice".

The announcement came almost a year after President Donald Trump ordered the Interior Department to examine President Barack Obama's five-year offshore drilling plan.

"In this case Governor Deal can learn from our neighbors and send a clear message against drilling off Georgia coasts", she said.

Carter, Isakson and several other Georgia Republicans signed onto House and Senate letters to Zinke last summer - when the administration's previous offshore leasing program was limited to the Gulf of Mexico and a small area off the coast of Alaska - encouraging him to "carefully review" other areas of the country "to ensure that opportunities are not missed".

CYNICISM HAS always been a part of politics, but rarely are politicians so brazen and self-serving as President Trump and his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, have been over the past week.

Zinke said Tuesday that "Florida is obviously unique" and that the decision to remove the state came after meetings and discussion with Scott. In an interview, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that the standards Zinke applied to Florida - the importance of tourism and coastal industries - were "standards that California can meet".

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In Oregon, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown took to Twitter to ask Zinke for relief.

And Florida is where Trump has a winter home in Palm Beach.

Keating said a Nelson-Scott contest for a critical Senate seat in a state won by President Donald Trump would feature "highly-loaded" campaign coffers.

Northam's letter asked "that the same exemption be made for the Commonwealth of Virginia".

Fearing for his own political future in a divided congressional district, Representative Lee Zeldin, an early Trump supporter, quickly distanced himself from the offshore oil decision after it was announced. All four members of Maine's congressional delegation are opposed to offshore drilling near ME too.

"Is it because the governor of Florida is a Republican and the Virginia governor and governor-elect are Democrats?" "This is good policy for Florida". Atlantic and Pacific coast governors protested, but only one - Republican Rick Scott of Florida - was granted a private meeting with Zinke. The move was widely anticipated, at least since Ryan Zinke, a Montana congressman, climate change skeptic, and oil pipeline company board member, was appointed secretary of the interior a year ago.

Governor Roy Cooper is asking the Trump administration to exempt North Carolina from a plan to open more coastal waters to offshore oil drilling.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said in a statement Wednesday that the drilling "would have been disastrous to Florida's economy, the environment, and, most importantly, to the readiness of America's armed forces".