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Indybay Feature
Oceana Calls on Secretary Zinke to Reverse Course on Radical Offshore Drilling Plan
by Oceana
Thursday Jan 11th, 2018 8:14 PM
January 10, 2018 - Last night, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that Florida is being removed from the Trump administration’s new draft five-year program (2019-2024) for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The announcement came only days after the Department of the Interior (DOI) outlined its plans to expand future oil and gas leasing to the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans, as well as the eastern Gulf of Mexico, offering the largest number of potential offshore lease sales ever proposed.
In response to the announcement, Oceana campaign director Diane Hoskins released the following statement:

“We are pleased to see Secretary Zinke agreeing to remove Florida from the drilling proposal on day two of the public comment period. Such a quick reversal begs the question: will the Trump administration give equal consideration to all the other coastal Governors from both parties who overwhelmingly reject this radical offshore drilling plan? If all it takes is an in-person meeting, this is great news. I urge every governor opposed to this radical plan to get in touch with Secretary Zinke as soon as possible. It’s time for Secretary Zinke to fully reverse course on this rash and ill-informed proposal.”

As of today, opposition and concern over offshore drilling activities includes:

* Governors of Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Oregon and Washington
* More than 150 East and West Coast municipalities
* Over 1,200 local, state and federal bipartisan officials
* An alliance representing over 41,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families
* The New England, South and Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils
* Commercial and recreational fishing interests such as the Southeastern Fisheries Association, Fisheries * Survival Fund, Southern Shrimp Alliance, The Billfish Foundation and the International Game Fish Association
* California Fish and Game Commission, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands * Commission and California Senate
* DOD and the Florida Defense Support Task Force

The draft plan is the result of President Trump’s executive order on offshore energy in April 2017, which directed DOI to encourage offshore drilling. The public has until March 9, 2018 to comment on the draft proposed program, which is the first of two opportunities for public comment on the plan.
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