Will this battle never come to an end?
The Trump administration on Thursday moved to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a plan that would open up federal waters off California for the first time in more than three decades. The new five-year drilling plan also could open new areas of oil and gas exploration in areas off the East Coast from Georgia to Maine, where drilling has been blocked for decades. Many lawmakers in those states support offshore drilling, though the Democratic governors of North Carolina and Virginia oppose drilling off their coasts.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, also opposes offshore drilling near his state, as do the three Democratic governors on the West Coast. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the plan Thursday, saying that responsible development of offshore energy resources would boost jobs and economic security while providing billions of dollars to fund conservation along U.S. coastlines.
Bolding mine, because that's some serious BS. The Gulf of Mexico has been literally peppered with offshore rigs for decades, but when the Deepwater Horizon disaster happened, there wasn't enough money available to buy a pack of Nabs for those affected, much less "conserve" the oil-drenched coastline and fishing areas. The only bright spot in this oily mess is the fact we have a new Governor. Pat McCrory was nothing more than an industry shill, actually allowing them to operate out of his office under the guise of the Outer Continental Shelf Governor's Coalition. But our new Governor Roy Cooper is a totally different animal:
North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says he'll keep fighting efforts by President Donald Trump's administration to expand oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast, saying such drilling "represents a critical threat" to the state's coastal economy.
Cooper responded Thursday to news of additional opportunities proposed by the federal government for offshore energy development starting in 2019. He said in a release his administration "will pursue every option" to prevent drilling near the state's beaches, fishing waters and coastal communities.
The governor last summer announced opposition to expanded coastal oil and gas exploration. Last month, a state regulatory agency asked companies interested in testing to provide more information that reflects potential marine life problems.
I can't imagine what the folks on NC's coast are thinking right now. They came together in a big way to oppose offshore drilling just a few years ago, and thanks to an assist by the Obama Administration, it appeared the threat was no longer imminent. But with Trump at the reigns, it's a damn free-for-all for polluting industries. Time to get out the sign-making materials and do it all again.