Darryl Fears reports for The Washington Post:
|Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning off Louisiana coast in 2010 (Coast Guard/Reuters photo)|The Trump administration unveiled a controversial proposal Thursday to permit drilling in most U.S. continental-shelf waters, including protected areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic, where oil and gas exploration is opposed by governors from New Jersey to Florida, nearly a dozen attorneys general, more than 100 U.S. lawmakers and the Defense Department.
New Jersey activist group Clean Ocean Action, responding to the Trump administration announcement, declared:“Trump’s ocean drilling plan is reckless and offensive. It is indifferent to the thousands of communities and millions of citizens along the coast that depend on a clean ocean economy. It will be met with the united forces of citizens, businesses, fishermen, boaters, divers, surfers, tourists, swimmers, and their elected leaders who depend upon a clean ocean."The next step is a 60-day comment period. Clean Ocean Action is calling for Secretary Zinke to extend the comment period to at least 120 days and to hold public hearings in various locations in NJ and NY to ensure President Trump understands and faces the wrath of those who will be harmed by this rash and harmful proposal. "
Under the proposal, only one of 26 planning areas in 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 said the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management has identified 47 potential areas where industry companies can buy leases between 2019 and 2024, when the proposed open period would begin and end.
The Draft Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program was embraced by oil and gas industry groups but is expected to face withering opposition from a wide range of state officials and conservationists. “Nothing is final,” Zinke said in remarks at a news conference. “This is a draft program. The states, local communities and congressional delegations will all have a say” before the proposal becomes final in the coming months.
Read the full story
Related environmental news:
Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling
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