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Northam requests Virginia exemption from Trump's offshore drilling plan

Northam requests Virginia exemption from Trump's offshore drilling plan

"Dear Secretary Zinke, California like Florida, has hundreds of miles of attractive coastline and a governor who wants to keep it that way. Or is that not enough for blue states?" The critics include the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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.

"We can not afford to take a chance with the beauty, the majesty and the economic value and vitality of our wonderful coastline in SC", he said.

Meeting with members of the media in Washington on January 9, Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, lauded the Trump Administration for its "courage" and "foresight" in producing the expanded offshore drilling plan.

"I support the governor's position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver", Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in announcing the exception.

Lawmakers and governors of other states were outraged.

"We respectfully request that you reconsider the suitability of offshore drilling in waters near Long Island", they said. Mark Warner, D-Va., called Trump's plan "a complete non-starter". "Nothing has changed as far as the requirements; nothing has changed as far as the ability to finish the process out", said the group's president, Randall Luthi. "Because too much of our economy in northwest Florida is built around keeping our military operations strong".

Heather Swift, a spokeswoman for Zinke, accused Kaine and other Democrats of taking cheap shots at her boss. "Local voice matters", he insisted. "Until Interior says differently, we're in the middle of an administrative process, and that's how we're going to treat it". "Their criticism is empty pandering".

The Trump administration created a political oil spill this week when it exempted Florida from offshore drilling. This means that ME communities, fishermen, and coastal residents could be exposed to significant new dangers from oil pollution.

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But Secretary Zinke's decision to take Florida off the table "should have his lawyers cringing", Hayes said.

"Quite frankly, Gov. Scott called me and [also] expressed in writing a desire to have a meeting", he said.

But lawmakers in other states aren't happy about Florida being the only exempt state. The Trump-owned private club is on the Atlantic in Palm Beach with its own white sand beach. Kaine said. "Are they putting Florida off-limits because President Trump has a vacation property - Mar-a-Lago - on the Atlantic coast of Florida and he worries about the environmental risk there, but he's not anxious about environmental risk in Virginia?"

If that's the reason Florida was removed from the offshore oil plan, the action is contrary to how such important decisions should be made. Nelson is calling Zinke's reversal a political stunt designed by the Trump administration to help Scott.

In a statement, Cooper says drilling could also lead to problems on North Carolina's coast.

" Gov. Scott requested a meeting the day the plan was released".

"Today, 69 percent of Californians oppose offshore drilling", KPCC reports. This isn't about politics. "This is good policy for Florida".

"Is it because the governor of Florida is a Republican and the Virginia governor and governor-elect are Democrats?"

Just two years ago, facing pressure from communities, businesses and associations, and political leaders across the South and the political spectrum, the Obama administration scrapped a controversial plan to open the Southeast Atlantic coast to industrial oil and gas development for the first time.

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