Northam requests Virginia exemption from Trump's offshore drilling plan


Then there is the price of oil in a few years' time to consider, as well as the fact that companies in the US are increasingly earmarking investments into onshore shale at the expense of conventional offshore.

The decision to exempt Florida could also open the Trump administration to legal challenges, allowing states not exempted to complain that the decision is arbitrary because one state was left off the list because Zinke talked with the governor. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris of California, sent a letter of opposition Tuesday to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who developed the drilling plan.

Bill Nelson (D), Mr. Scott's likely opponent in November, immediately accused the Trump administration of orchestrating these announcements to boost the Republican in a key 2018 race.

Members of Congress from both parties and both coasts have intensified their opposition to the Trump administration's plan to open nearly all of America's outer continental shelf to energy exploration. The critics include the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

On Wednesday, Zinke announced that Florida - a tourism-focused state with the second most coastline in the nation - would be spared from the new order. A spokeswoman for Zinke says such criticism is "empty pandering" and has invited governors to seek a meeting with the secretary.

That voice is expressed just as clearly by Cooper, McMaster and many other governors as it was by Scott.

"Opening the Atlantic to seismic testing and drilling jeopardizes our coastal businesses, fishing communities, tourism, and our national security", the letter said.

Meanwhile, up the coast in Washington, Republican Reps.

"It's another idea with big business in mind", he said. Instead, the administration exposed one of the big drivers of its severe dysfunction: its attitude that the federal government is a fiefdom that Mr. Trump and his lieutenants rule according to their whim. Think Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 on the Gulf Coast. "If those governors would like to request meetings with the secretary, they are absolutely welcome to do so", she said. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Edward J. Markey of MA, said its proposed New England Coastal Protection Act would block any drilling that put "vital coastline at risk and threaten [ed] a central economic engine for New England". The cost-benefit ratio calculation has been pushed away from drilling.

An oil platform sits in the distance at Refugio State Beach in California in 2015.

"If local voices matter why haven't they excluded Virginia?" asked Sen.

"There's a lot of due diligence to do", Republican U.S. Sen.

"I think it's a possibility that there's a way that it could be done that was judicious and made sense, but you've got to make sure the environment, the investment that Georgia has already made ... are protected".

Similarly, the Republican governors of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Chris Sununu and Charlie Baker, asserted their disapproval, with the former saying "of course" he opposes drilling off New Hampshire's coast.

"We're certainly going to ask for that".

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, said he supports an "expansive energy independence policy" but that Trump's proposed policy change has "left me with some questions".

The Interior Department said more than 800,000 comments from stakeholders have been received thus far, and the public will have additional opportunity to comment before the plan is finalized.