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.

Credit: 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.

This article was originally published on onEarth, which is no longer in publication. onEarth was founded in 1979 as the Amicus Journal, an independent magazine of thought and opinion on the environment. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. This article is available for online republication by news media outlets or nonprofits under these conditions: The writer(s) must be credited with a byline; you must note prominently that the article was originally published by NRDC.org and link to the original; the article cannot be edited (beyond simple things such grammar); you can’t resell the article in any form or grant republishing rights to other outlets; you can’t republish our material wholesale or automatically—you need to select articles individually; you can’t republish the photos or graphics on our site without specific permission; you should drop us a note to let us know when you’ve used one of our articles.

Related Stories