Inslee Vows to Fight Offshore Oil Drilling

From Washington State Wire, Inslee vows to create hostile environment for potential oil drilling businesses:

…At the beginning of January, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a five-year plan to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans. The plan would open over 90 percent of the outer continental shelf (OCS) to leasing, which surrounds all coastal areas of the continental United States and Alaska.

During a press conference on Monday, AG Ferguson announced that if the Trump Administration moves forward with this plan to drill off Washington’s coast, he will file a lawsuit…

The primary rationale for a lawsuit relates to Zinke’s decision to remove Florida from the list of states that are under consideration for new oil and gas drilling. In a lengthy letter released today, Ferguson says that every reason given to exclude Florida also applies to Washington…

Governor Inslee agreed, pointing to Florida’s Republican governor as the only difference between the two states that both rely on healthy coasts to fuel their economies.

“the only thing [Florida and Washington] have differently is they have a Republican governor, who is running for the US Senate, who has a friend in the white house of his party, and who had a phone call made and got his state protected. Our state has had a phone call made and we’re still not protected.”

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All tourism and recreation of any sort in Washington State’s coastal counties amounted to $3.4 billion (of a $425 billion state GDP, or less than 1%) in 2014.  In Florida, the economic impact of beach tourism alone accounted for $50 billion (of a $764 billion GDP, or 6.5%) in 2012. But the “only difference,” according to Inslee, between the two states is Florida’s Republican governor. Regardless of how one feels about offshore oil drilling, Inslee’s assertion is a bit hard to swallow.