Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has teamed with six of his East Coast counterparts to protest a decision by the Trump administration that would open offshore oil and gas leasing to approximately 90 percent of the U.S. coastlines.In a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the governors noted how Florida successfully received an exemption from this policy shift and demanded the same consideration be given to their states. They also pointed to widespread disapproval along the East Coast to offshore drilling.
“Like Florida, each of our states has unique natural resources and an economy that is reliant on tourism as an essential driver,” the governors wrote. “We support the notion of energy diversity, but the environmental and economic importance of the Atlantic Ocean must be weighed against the potential unintended consequences of these types of activities. More than one hundred and forty local communities passed resolutions opposing offshore drilling in the Atlantic. They have also been joined by tourism associations, convention and visitors bureaus, businesses, trade groups and legislators from both sides of the aisle.”
Malloy was joined in the letter by the governors of Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not participate in this joint letter but issued his own letter to Zinke last week that also pointed to the Florida exemption.
“The long-term health of New York’s economy is inextricably linked to protecting our ocean resources,” Cuomo wrote. “Much like Florida, New York’s ocean coast is unique and plays a vital role in our economy. Long Island and the New York Harbor are home to 11. 4 million people, with 60 percent of our state’s population living along nearly 2,000 miles of tidal coastline. New York’s ‘Ocean Economy’ (construction, living resources, minerals, ship building, tourism and recreation, and transportation) generates tens of billions of dollars in economic activity and provides hundreds of thousands of jobs. New York Harbor is also home to the largest container port on the East Coast. The proposal to lease the (Outer Continental Shelf) for oil and gas drilling threatens these jobs and the entire nation’s economic well-being.”