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Gov. Carney will seek exemption from offshore drilling plan

Delaware Public Media

Governors across the country - like John Carney in Delaware - are asking U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to exclude their states from the plan to expand offshore drilling. Zinke dropped Florida from the plans Tuesday after meeting with that state’s governor.

Carney and other lawmakers are requesting meetings with Zinke to explain why drilling should be banned off their state’s coasts.

Former President Barack Obama banned hundreds of millions of acres of federal land in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans before leaving office. But the Trump administration reversed that decision.

Carney said he wants to convince the Interior secretary Delaware should get an exemption too.

“I think we have a good argument to be made in terms of the effect, the potential effect on our environment and our tourism industry, which is huge, particularly in Sussex County,” he said.

Carney said allowing drilling off Delaware’s coast could hurt the state’s tourism industry and beaches.

“You know, there’s other things that we’ve been looking at," he said. "Offshore wind possibilities there. There are other kind of resources that we’re looking at that more bode well for the future I think in terms of energy generation, so we’ll hopefully have that conversation.”

Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott is widely expected to challenge his state’s incumbent Democratic senator in this year’s elections. That could give the Trump administration another vote to pass its agenda.

But Florida does have political advantages other states don’t. Scott, a Republican, is friend of President Donald Trump’s. Trump also owns Mar-a-Lago resort, which he has called “the Winter White House” is in Palm Beach, Florida.

Other states also want to be excluded from the offshore drilling expansion. Virginia Governor-elect Ralph Northam tweeted he also wants to talk with Zinke. So did lawmakers from other states, including New York, California and New Jersey.

Delaware’s Congressional Delegation has sharply criticized the plan to allow offshore drilling off the coast.

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