New York state asks for exemption from federal offshore drilling expansion

New York has become the latest state to request an exemption from a planned expansion of federal offshore oil and gas drilling, according to Reuters.

In January the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced its intention to open up almost all offshore waters to exploration in line with the administration’s aim of boosting US energy output for economic and security reasons.

But shortly after that announcement DOI secretary Ryan Zinke said that Florida may be granted an exemption following a meeting with that state’s Governor Rick Scott.

Zinke appeared to have accepted the arguments that unfettered coastal drilling could have negative consequences for other coast-dependent industries such as fishing and tourism.

That opened the door to numerous other coastal states calling for exemptions. Zinke has said he will hear each state’s case.

Now New York joined the list with a formal request by Governor Andrew Cuomo for an exclusion from the new five-year National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

As with other states’ objections, Cuomo mentioned detrimental impact on the economy and the worrying potential for ecological catastrophe.

Out west, two states are doing more than request exemptions. California and Washington have said they will deny permits for the transportation of oil from new offshore rigs through their states, effectively handcuffing such rigs.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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