Sununu opposes Trump administration's offshore drilling plan

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke

"Brown asked for the same consideration Florida recently received and noted broad opposition from Republicans, Democrats and independents across the state to any expansion of oil and gas drilling off of the California coast", according to the summary of the call.

The governors of California and Washington have also strongly opposed new leasing off their coasts and asked to be removed from the plan.

Brown previously criticized Zinke for the plan to resume drilling for oil and gas off the shores of the United States, saying it would endanger Oregon's coast.

A last-minute decision making Florida exempt from offshore drilling is causing some lawmakers nationwide to question the move.

Brown reportedly asked for Zinke to give OR the same treatment as Florida. Last week, Governor Scott requested to immediately meet with Secretary Zinke to discuss his concerns with the federal oil drilling plan and the crucial need to remove Florida from consideration.

Gov. Henry McMaster told reporters that risks associated with drilling pose a serious threat to South Carolina's lush coastline and $20 billion tourism industry.

Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift said Friday his office would provide no further information about the conversation with Brown.

This a case of special pleading at its worst, exacerbated by the fact that President Trump owns substantial beachfront resort property in Florida.

"I'm not aware of any political favor that that (Florida exemption) would have been part of", Sanders said Thursday.

Zinke added that he supports Scott's position that "Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver".

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said Zinke's action "violates the legal standard of arbitrary and capricious agency action".

"We are outraged; this is absolutely unacceptable", she said of the drilling plan.

Democrats from coastal states accuse Zinke and Trump of punishing states with Democratic leaders while rewarding Republicans.

The Interior Department has exempted Florida, including President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, from its mandate to allow offshore oil and gas drilling.

The Trump administration's plan would open 90 percent of the nation's offshore reserves to development by private companies.



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