Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Carney, Carper blast Trump's plan for offshore drilling

Carney, Carper blast Trump's plan for offshore drilling

"This political decision to open the magnificent and lovely Pacific Coast waters to oil and gas drilling flies in the face of decades of strong opposition on the part of Oregon, Washington and California - from Republicans and Democrats alike", Gov. They cite strong opposition - even from Republicans - to some ocean drilling and question whether oil companies will invest in expensive new offshore projects when there are abundant reserves in shale on the US mainland. Rick Scott of Florida and Larry Hogan of Maryland, who pressed President Donald Trump to withdraw their states from consideration. The move would allow the first round of offshore petroleum leasing off California's coast since 1984.

Governor John Carney is expressing opposition to the Trump administration's plan to expand offshore drilling.

Today's proposal comes after the passing of Congress' tax bill last month that included a decision to open 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas drilling.

Questions and answers for the administration's proposal - the most expansive offshore drilling proposal in decades - along with potential roadblocks and what it could mean for US energy production.

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"The waters off the mouth of the Chesapeake are as much a part of the bay system as all the fresh-water rivers that feed it", Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker said in a statement. The Natural Resources Defense Council called the plan "backward-looking" and said it "puts marine life and coastal communities at risk and contributes to the present and ever-growing impacts of climate change".

Democratic governors of the three US Pacific coastal states - California, Oregon and Washington - released a joint statement condemning the plan. "For more than 30 years, our shared coastline has been protected from further federal drilling, and we'll do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, shortsighted action".

Thursday's proposal is a draft. "Drilling for oil inevitably leads to leaks and spills". But interest in developing them right away would be stronger if oil were still over $100 a barrel, as it was in 2014, instead of current prices hovering around $60 per barrel.

"It's better to produce energy here and never be held hostage by foreign enemy needs", Zinke said, adding it's a "clear difference between energy weakness and energy dominance".

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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.

State officials have argued that expanding offshore oil production would most probably require construction of new platforms and onshore support equipment and that is likely to harm the state's multibillion-dollar coastal economy, including tourism, fishing and the marine ecosystem. Frosh said in an interview that his office is continuing to review the Trump administration's moves and that Thursday's announcement "certainly makes [litigation] more likely".

"The Deepwater Horizon accident proved definitively that offshore drilling has the potential to ravage our state's ecosystems and economy", Demings said.

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