Interior Department baits fossil fuel sharks with new plan to open 90 percent of federal waters to drilling

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has made good on a promise to the fossil fuel industry with a plan to reopen nearly all federal waters—more than 100 million acres—to oil and gas drilling. Zinke’s draft five-year leasing program would replace the current 2017–2022 Obama administration plan, which withholds or protects coastal tracts in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans, as well as eastern Gulf of Mexico. While oil and gas companies prepare for their feast, coastal communities are facing a two-tiered threat. Not only would destructive seismic testing and oil spills devastate tourism and fishing industries, but the new development will also pump additional greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. In true Trump fashion, the administration is serving up our cherished coasts and oceans on a tacky gold platter.

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