Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Wednesday indicated he would consider requests from East Coast governors to exclude their states from the administration’s plan to permit drilling in most U.S. continental shelf-waters. “States matter, the local voice matters, you matter and the governor matters,” Zinke told Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. “I’m sure Maine is going to be very happy with the draft proposal.”
Like Pingree, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) asked the secretary to consider his state’s concerns about a proposed expansion of offshore oil drilling, reported CQ. “I hope in the coming weeks … that you recognize concerns that many of us have on the East Coast … that we don’t want oil drilling in the neck of our woods,” Frelinghuysen said. Zinke’s decision to exempt Florida from the plan shortly after it was announced in January spurred demands from other coastal states for similar treatment.