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Northam requests Virginia exemption from Trump's offshore drilling plan

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Trump admin decides not to drill off Florida after Rick Scott lobbying

"If Florida's coastal economy is reason to ultimately withdraw them from drilling", Menendez said, "we have the same claim".

And Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-3rd Dist., whose district also includes miles of New Jersey coastline, made a separate plea to Zinke to keep oil drilling away from the state's shore.

ALLEN: Aliki Moncrief, with the environmental group Florida Conservation Voters, says Scott opposed a state constitutional amendment that would have banned drilling off the coasts.

As with their neighbors to the north, the coastal regions of the mid-Atlantic states are heavily represented by Democrats, but several Republicans were quick to announce their opposition following the release of the draft plan.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions - who allegedly involved himself in the effort to oust former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey with a false pretext, repeatedly misled the Senate on his Russian Federation contacts, supported the noxious Muslim ban, has demonized illegal immigrants for a nonexistent crime wave (thereby justifying a war on so-called sanctuary cities) and reversed a promise made to senators when he chose to reactivate enforcement of marijuana laws against ordinary users - is arguably the most unsafe and malicious member of the president's Cabinet. The statement said Zinke intends to meet or talk with any governor who submits a request.

Zinke said Florida was "obviously unique" when it comes to drilling.

However, the removal of Florida from the list of areas for consideration for oil and gas drilling, and not other states, is seen by governors of other states-┬Čand a former senior Department of the Interior official-as arbitrary and ripe for legal challenges.

"Opening the Atlantic to seismic testing and drilling jeopardizes our coastal businesses, fishing communities, tourism, and our national security", the letter said.

Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman, whose beachside town was ravaged by storms past year, joined the chorus of local officials who urged Deal to appeal to Trump's White House for an exemption.

State Rep. Al Williams, a Democrat from the hamlet of Midway on Georgia's seashore, called the White House plan "a bad idea that could have profound negative effects on Georgia's coast".

Through all of those fights, the Trump administration has delivered federal aid to California where needed, as in the flooding and fires of 2017.

With states and environmentalists expected to strongly oppose and even sue, the timeline for the final program approval could be further pushed off, and it's possible that there will be no lease sales-let alone drilling-in the next few years. Timothy Considine, an energy economist, reported in 2015 that oil and gas drilling off Georgia's coast could create as many as 6,500 jobs and add $250 million annually to state coffers by 2035. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, a Republican, have also pledged to seek exemptions for Virginia's coastal waters.

"There's a lot of due diligence to do", Republican U.S. Sen. "It doesn't matter to me whether you're Republican or Democrat". All four members of Maine's congressional delegation are opposed to offshore drilling near ME too.

"The question is, is there anything out there?"

Gov. Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra have fought almost every single major Trump administration policy, and have held out California's liberal policies as an alternative model for America to follow.

"Offshore development has undergone rapid technological innovation ensuring it is cheaper, safer, and provides access to previously out-of-reach areas", the Senate letter stated.

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