Trump plans to expand offshore drilling in Pacific and Atlantic

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"It's particularly shocking that the administration is pushing for new oil drilling off the coast of California", Feinstein said. Jerry Brown and scores of environmentalists.

As Secretary Zinke said, the plan will ensure USA energy dominance for the foreseeable future. Nineteen sales would be off Alaska, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, nine in the Atlantic and seven in the Pacific, including six off California.

During the last federal push to open up oil drilling in the 1980s, the City of Santa Cruz passed a measure that banned new onshore oil facilities, including pipelines, unless it went to a public vote. Opening up new oil exploration leases will require completion of an environmental review, which could take a year or longer, and states such as California have some power to complicate if not outright thwart Zinke's proposal.

Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, who is challenging McMaster for this year's GOP nomination, said, "We need to explore what we have off the coast" but cautioned against taking reckless action.

"Americans have seen the devastation that comes from offshore drilling", she said.

"We've never had this type of active, deep conflict between the state and federal governments", Hecht said.

The Zinke plan is the first major proposed offshore drilling expansion since 1984, when Ronald Reagan was president.

It would be the first West Coast oil lease sale since the 1980s, but that doesn't mean it's a done deal.

The administration could begin selling leases to drill in the Atlantic and other closed-off areas as early as 2019 if the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management speeds through the planning process this year.

Sen. Kamala Harris called it "an incredibly harmful move." Sen.

Scott, the Florida governor, said he has asked for an immediate meeting with Zinke to discuss his concerns.


California was the site of the first offshore drilling in the US more than 120 years ago, but the region was tarnished by one of the worst spills in USA history in 1969, when more than 3 million gallons of oil poured into the ocean near Santa Barbara. It was the nation's worst oil spill until the Exxon Valdez incident 20 years later off the coast of Alaska. In late 2016, Brown called for a permanent prohibition on new drilling off the shore of the state.

The Trump administration's proposal to expand offshore drilling is "horrible public policy", a Republican lawmaker from coastal SC says.

The state can object "but it's not an absolute veto", said Richard Frank, an environmental law professor at UC Davis.

"This announcement could help California increase our domestic energy production", said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Assn. But it takes a lot more than a few million gallons of oil to "destroy" an ecosystem. Nearly all of that was produced inland, in Kern County and parts of Southern California, but the state's offshore platforms still produced about 11 million barrels, mainly off the coasts of Santa Barbara and Long Beach.

Other Washington officials who released statements condemning the move included Democrats Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen.

"Responsibly developing our energy resources ... in a safe and well-regulated way is important to our economy and energy security", U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement. As things stand now, 94 percent of those resources are off-limits, he said.

The San Clemente-based Surfrider Foundation said the proposal would threaten ocean recreation and the tourism and fishing industries, which have a multibillion-dollar economic impact nationally.

The proposal still has several phases to pass through before becoming policy, including a public comment period and an environmental impact report.

We have been drilling offshore for 70 years and while there have been some accidents, the amount of damage to "America's oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life" has been minimal.

In comments to the Department of the Interior, Chevron expressed interest in opening the Pacific Coast for leasing, but ranked Southern California as seventh on their priority list, after regions in the Gulf and Atlantic.

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