Plan to expand offshore drilling draws cheers, jeers

13 January, 2018, 04:00 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Trump Signs Order Aimed at Opening Arctic Drilling

Jerry Brown and scores of environmentalists.

The Interior Department said the draft plan includes 47 potential lease sales over five years, the largest number ever for a federal Outer Continental Shelf drilling plan. As Secretary Zinke said, the plan will ensure USA energy dominance for the foreseeable future. "As the state with the longest coastlines in the continental United States, Florida is especially vulnerable to oil spills", Buchanan said. "We're in uncharted territory in a serious way". This reckless proposal for a new offshore drilling spree should face widespread bipartisan opposition. The resolution, introduced last month, asks Congress to maintain the moratorium, which is in place from east of the Military Mission Line, which runs south of Hurlburt Field in Okaloosa County, to Key West.

This offshore drilling proposal will be very real for many people who might not have been involved in politics before.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also issued a statement Thursday.

Though Gov. Rick Scott, Nelson's likely opponent in this year's election, also has come out in opposition to drilling off Florida's coast - as have nearly all of Florida's congressional delegation including Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of Trump's biggest supporters - Nelson on Friday staked out the opposition ground as his. It was the nation's worst oil spill until the Exxon Valdez incident 20 years later off the coast of Alaska.

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This comes as the state's constitution revision commission is considering language to ban oil drilling off Florida's coasts.

Seven new leases are targeted in the Pacific region, including two each for Northern California, Central California and Southern California, as well as one for the area off the Washington and OR coast.

That's why it's crucial for the industry to start a dialogue with coastal politicians and communities to highlight it's safety record, says Hurley. After that, much of the control switches to the federal government, under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act.

The state can object "but it's not an absolute veto", said Richard Frank, an environmental law professor at UC Davis.

The proposal has met with backlash from environmental advocates.

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"Californians will never let this happen", the Democratic congressman stated.

A devastating, 100,000-barrel spill in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969 led to the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act, the foundation of USA environmental law, and the creation of the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The Lands Commission, chaired by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a candidate for governor, last spring trumpeted the decommissioning of oil platforms off the city of Goleta, near Santa Barbara. In fact, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is the only Atlantic Coast governor who has said he favors offshore oil and gas drilling. It was praised by industry groups that said it would help secure America's energy needs.

The proposal released Thursday will go far beyond Trump's April order directing the Interior Department to consider auctioning oil and gas leases in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as well as the Gulf of Mexico. As things stand now, 94 percent of those resources are off-limits, he said.

Oil spills - including Santa Barbara in 1969 and Deepwater Horizon in 2010 - have historically galvanized the U.S. environmental movement, and environmentalists said the proposal would be unacceptable to the general public. He also noted it was a draft proposal that could change after public input.

Environmental activists say that if offshore drilling is allowed, New Jersey could see offshore oil rigs just 3 miles off the shoreline.

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"To kick off a national discussion, you need a national plan - something that has been lacking the past several years", said Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association.



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