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Gov. Christie Wants Exemption for New Jersey on Offshore Drilling

GOP Rep. Mark Sanford   Sean Rayford  Getty Images

Last week the Trump administration announced it was rescinding President Barack Obama's ban on oil and gas drilling of USA coastal waters.

Following is a statement from Lisa Pohlmann, executive director, Natural Resources Council of Maine, in response to the proposal to open Maine waters to drilling:The Trump Administration today released a unsafe five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic Ocean - including off the coast of Maine, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Arctic Ocean.

Florida's Rick Scott (R) was among the coastal governors who spoke up. Zinke said Trump had directed him to "take into consideration the local and state voice" in deciding policy. Florida, Zinke said, was "unique", with its coasts "heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver".

David Hayes, a former adviser to President Barack Obama and director of New York University's State Energy & Environmental Impact Center, wrote that the plan would be hard to defend because it "smacks of an impulsive, undisciplined, arbitrary process".

Scott is term-limited this year, and is widely expected to run against Sen.

To try to say this calmly: MOST (all?) of governors affected by this order have objected to it. Sanford said. "I mean you can't say, "I don't want to see an oil rig from Mar-A-Lago" as you look out from the waters of Palm Beach, but it's okay to look at an oil rig out from Hilton Head or Charleston, South Carolina".

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., was not convinced that Florida's reprieve from the offshore drilling plan was anything more than political posturing ahead of the this year's gubernatorial election in the state.

"President Trump's offshore drilling plan is unprecedented and will face major opposition from Mainers at its first public hearing on January 22", First District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, said in a statement. "This is a political stunt orchestrated by the Trump administration to help Rick Scott, who has wanted to drill off Florida's coast his entire career. We shouldn't be playing politics with the future of FL".

Scott had criticized the Trump administration's decision to support offshore oil and gas drilling on the outer continental shelf off the coasts of the US.

Democratic governors along both coasts unanimously oppose drilling, as have a number of Republican governors, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker. "In my one-on-one talks with President Trump, I brought up the dire risk that coastal oil drilling would pose to national security, and he was greatly receptive to my concerns". "This deprives our country of potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions in wealth". It includes all but one of 26 "planning areas" in federal waters off US coastlines, making up about 90 percent of the outer continental shelf.

Other states have begun asking for exemptions from the offshore drilling plan as a result of Tuesday's announcement, but no further announcements have been made. "I will never stop fighting for Florida's environment and our pristine coastline". All four members of Maine's congressional delegation are opposed to offshore drilling near ME too. This means that ME communities, fishermen, and coastal residents could be exposed to significant new dangers from oil pollution.