The Surfrider Foundation and leaders of the coastal recreation and tourism industry on Thursday presented Department of Interior representatives with a surfboard and letters signed by more than 1,000 coastal businesses and elected officials in opposition to new offshore oil drilling in U.S. waters. From Florida to Maine and California to Washington State, businesses including restaurants, retailers, surf shops and hotels are expressing concerns that new offshore oil and gas development would be disastrous for coastal communities.
Now, in one of the strongest declarations of opposition yet, California's Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, chair of the state's powerful land commission has vowed "not a single drop from your new oil plan will ever make landfall in California."
As it happens, LePage, a Republican, is the sole Atlantic Coast governor who favors the Trump administration's proposal to open nearly all of America's coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling.
By Jamie Henn
Let's talk for a moment about how the climate movement is going to fight back in 2018.
But first, a public service announcement.
This Jan. 31, movement leaders like the one-and-only Bernie Sanders, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, Jacqueline Patterson of the NAACP, and more, are coming together for an event called "Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance," to lay out a movement game plan for 2018.
"Don't touch California. If you want to drill, do it off Mar-a-Lago," the former California governor and vocal Trump critic tweeted Monday, referring to the president's resort in Palm Beach, Florida. "Or better yet, look to the future, follow California's lead and go green and we can all breathe easier. The U.S.'s largest economy is nearly 50 percent renewable. #ProtectThePacific."
Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke's controversial decision to take Florida out of his proposed plan to greatly expand offshore drilling is causing clashes within the administration, according to multiple reports.
The head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which manages offshore leasing, told a Congressional subcommittee Friday that it had "no formal decision" on Florida and that the bureau is keeping Florida in its upcoming review of offshore resources.
Politicians from coastal states around the country continue to call for their states to be exempt from the Trump administration's proposed expansion of offshore drilling following its politically-tinged decision last week to remove Florida from the plan.
The Interior Department said last week that Secretary Ryan Zinke had spoken with seven coastal governors opposed to drilling, including the governors of North and South Carolina, Rhode Island, Delaware and Washington. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's office told press Zinke would consider removing the state from the plan following their call, while California Gov. Jerry Brown's office reports that Zinke promised to travel to the state to further discuss the offshore leases.
“I support the governor's position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver," Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke said Tuesday. “As a result of discussion with Governor Scott and his leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms."
By Andy Rowell
As Washington continues to digest the explosive revelations in the book Fire and Fury about the chaotic and dysfunctional White House and whether the president is mentally fit for office, the Trump administration continues its full-frontal assault on the environment.