Bipartisan opposition is growing to President Trump’s proposal to greatly expand offshore oil and gas drilling. The reversal of the Obama-era restrictions would open more than a billion acres of water in the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil and gas drilling. Initially the Interior Department moved to allow offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all of the United States’ coastal waters, but then announced it has dropped plans to open up the waters off the coast of Florida, following fierce opposition by Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott. Scott is an ally of President Trump, and the state is also home to Trump’s winter resort at Mar-a-Lago. Now governors and lawmakers from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Washington and other states are asking why only Florida is being exempted. DN! speaks to Subhankar Banerjee, professor of art and ecology at the University of New Mexico. Banerjee is the author of “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land” and editor of “Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point.”
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