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

iStock

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.

Tell Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to keep our coasts permanently off-limits to oil and gas drilling


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.

onEarth Story

Eight years after the BP disaster in the Gulf, the administration aims to relax the rules designed to prevent catastrophic explosions and spills.

NRDC in Action

NRDC played a key role in banning offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic. Once again, it’s fighting to protect those oceans—and the rest of America’s waters.

onEarth Story

Plus, shadiness in Montana and an insult-slinging EPA.

onEarth Story

In Donald Trump’s war on the environment, Americans’ complacency is his greatest ally.

Explainer

We've already wrecked the Gulf of Mexico. Why would we do the same on the East Coast?

onEarth Story

Not even the Republican governors who supported him are willing to get behind it.

Southeast Dispatch

Southern communities prefer their coastlines sandy, beautiful, and bountiful—not filled with rigs and air guns blasting ships or covered in oil.

onEarth Story

Congress has failed to implement rules that could prevent another disaster.

Explainer

Before a president auctions off U.S. coastlines to oil companies, he’s supposed to ask state governors, Congress, local businesses, and you. Here’s how Trump is ignoring that process—and how it’s endangering coastal communities.

onEarth Story

The Interior secretary lines up drills just outside Bears Ears; Pruitt tries to wipe out decades of research and refuses to explain his soundproof booth.

Western Dispatch

As Californians protest the Trump administration’s intent to expand drilling off the Pacific coast, some city and state officials consider new legislation to block it.

Join Us

When you sign up you'll become a member of NRDC's Activist Network. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports.