Friday, December 9, 2022

Northam requests Virginia exemption from Trump’s offshore drilling plan

(file photo/WYDaily)

Governor-elect Ralph Northam Thursday requested an exemption to the Trump administration’s plan to allow offshore drilling in nearly all of United States coastal waters.

The request comes two days after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke granted an exemption to the state of Florida after a meeting with Gov. Rick Scott.

“I grew up on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and can tell you firsthand that the Chesapeake Bay and the Commonwealth’s ocean and coastal resources are every bit as ecologically and economically valuable as those of Florida, a state that was recently exempted from the leasing plan,” Northam wrote in a letter to Zinke. “I am encouraged by the decision to exempt Florida from the plan, and respectfully ask that the same exemption be made for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Northam also asked the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to allow Virginians the opportunity to participate in a series of hearings that will include Hampton Roads before the public comment period ends on March 9.

In a statement after the new offshore drilling plan was announced last week, Northam said the plan would jeopardize the Commonwealth’s “economy, environment, national security, and the health and safety of our residents.”

Northam is not alone. Leaders in California, Oregon, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington have also requested exemptions.

This article was published in partnership with our sister publication, Southside Daily.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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