Governors of several coastal states in the US are seeking exemption from Trump Administration’s new offshore drilling plan, a move that comes after Florida’s request to opt-out of it has received approval.
This move could stunt US President Donald Trump’s plan to boost oil and gas production from offshore fields.
Last week, a leasing plan was proposed that is expected to open up 90% of all coasts for drilling companies over the next five years.
US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed that this plan would provide a boost for the economy.
This plan, which affects around 22 coastal states, has been opposed by 15 governors, with support coming only from six states while one state is currently undecided.
States such as Alaska and Maine have rendered their support to the plan while the Delaware, North Carolina and South Carolina believe that drilling would impact their coastal tourism, on the same lines of Florida.
Florida was excluded from the plan as its coasts are claimed to be highly dependent on tourism.
Delaware Governor John Carney said on Twitter: “Tourism and recreation along the Delaware coastline account for billions in economic activity each year, and support tens of thousands of jobs.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo added: “New York doesn’t want drilling off our coast either. Where do we sign up for a waiver @SecretaryZinke?”
Currently, 94% of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is protected, but Trump’s plan will open up more than 90% of the protected area.
While the industry has welcomed the plan, environmentalists and more than 100 lawmakers are opposed to it. Following the BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, offshore drilling regulations were tightened by former US President Barack Obama.