The Trump administration has released a proposal to re-open the ability for off-shore drilling in the continental United States. The move, of course, is being opposed by 100’s of officials.
The Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean would be off-limits to oil and gas exploration, according to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. He further stated that the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management has also identified 47 potential sites that could be leased between 2019 and 2024 – when the proposal would end.
“Nothing is final,” Zinke further said, “This is a draft program. The states, local communities and congressional delegations will all have a say”.
But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will be opposed to the move.
“Protecting our environment and precious natural resources is a top priority for Governor Hogan and exactly why he has made clear that he opposes this kind of exploration off our coastline,” said Douglass Mayer, spokesman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Mayer said Hogan directed his attorney general “to take any legal action necessary against the federal government to prevent this possible exploration.”
Even Presidential hopeful Chris Christie sent a letter to the Interior Department agency saying he “strongly opposes any waters off our coastline being considered for inclusion in this leasing program,” citing a $44 billion tourism industry that creates more than 300,000 jobs.
Which, I guess, he kind of has a point.
Let us not forget one of the worst environmental disasters in our Nation’s history happened in 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon exploded and spilled over 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico — and it’s actually something still being handled in one way or another to this day.
But there are supporters of the move, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). “With this program, my constituents . . . whose jobs depend on the energy industry can rest easy knowing that oil and gas development is a priority for this administration,” Scalise said. “With increased exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, we will be able to create more jobs and continue to receive revenue sharing that’s vital to rebuilding our coast.”
Still… I think we could find a balance, include some checks and measures, and lessen our dependency on foreign oil… don’t you?
(H/T The Washington Post)