Zinke vs. Coastal Governors

The Interior secretary gave Florida a pass on offshore drilling rigs, but these states don’t want any part in this scheme either.

January 16, 2018


Well, this is awkward. After opening 90 percent of America’s coastlines to offshore drilling last week, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke exempted Florida after its governor, Rick Scott, asked him to. That’s great news for Florida's communities, coastal habitats, and local economies (and, ahem, Mar-a-Lago), but millions of Americans are wondering why their shores are still on the chopping block.

Zinke’s proposal—à la Trump’s distorted vision for “energy dominance”—would tear up the 2017–2022 Obama administration plan, which currently protects the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans from dangerous drilling. That plan is the result of years of research and bipartisan collaboration, as well as 1.4 million public comments demanding the protection of the nation’s coasts.

Zinke’s mixed messages are receiving a lot of their own public comments—very public, in fact. Because the secretary won’t answer their phone calls, governors from around the country are using Twitter like a customer service line to the Interior Department. In the face of these plans to desecrate their constituents’ coasts, e pluribus unum. Out of many ticked off governors, one emboldened roar.

Virginia is not for lovers of offshore drilling rigs.

New York says fughetaboutit!

North Carolina says take a flight, Zinke—and preferably not on the taxpayers’ dime.

Washington doesn’t want offshore rigs anywhere near the Evergreen State.

You better blaze a trail out of Oregon. You’re not welcome there, either.

Rhode Island has already made its preference for offshore power clear.

Delaware declares its liberty and independence from your bad ideas.

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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