Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ryan Zinke promises to meet with all governors who oppose his offshore drilling plan

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Wednesday he plans to meet with every governor whose state would be affected by his offshore drilling proposal, vowing the public engagement process would take at least a year. Coastal governors who oppose offshore drilling are pressing Zinke for exemptions from his proposal, after he granted one to Florida Tuesday night upon meeting with Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Wednesday he plans to meet with every governor whose state would be affected by his offshore drilling proposal, vowing the public engagement process would take at least a year. Some critics argue the interior secretary violated the law by taking Florida off the table in the early stages of the public comment process, without any public hearings. Zinke told the Washington Post in an interview Wednesday that Scott was quick to voice his opposition to drilling off Florida’s coast. Scott and almost the entire Florida congressional delegation opposed Zinke's drilling proposal, arguing that the risk of spills could harm the state's huge tourism economy. “Quite frankly, Gov. Scott called me and [also] expressed in writing a desire to have a meeting,” Zinke said. That meeting was the first “in what I believe will be a series of conversations” with other governors, Zinke added...more

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