Trump protects red states only in offshore drilling ban


Ten-year moratorium leaves out North Carolina and Virginia:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday in Florida imposing a 10-year moratorium on offshore drilling in waters from Florida to South Carolina, leaving North Carolina open to potential activity.

Under the order, leases of areas along the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina for the purposes of offshore exploration or development are prohibited between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2032. What is not clear is why the order omits North Carolina and Virginia, where residents have been vocally opposed to offshore drilling, often citing the potential impact to fisheries and coastal tourism.

Oh, it's clear as a bell. DeSantis, Kemp, and McMaster are all Republicans, while Cooper and Northam are Democrats. Nobody wants that shit anywhere near their beaches, but when you've got a partisan hack like Trump making these calls, punishing states who (even moderately) support the other party is fair game. Here's more from the Southern Environmental Law Center:

SELC joined dozens of conservation organizations and thousands of coastal communities, businesses, and elected representatives in condemning the Trump administration’s announcement leaving much of the coast vulnerable to the dangers of oil drilling.

President Trump on Tuesday, September 8, announced drilling would be barred off Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, but allowed elsewhere on the Atlantic coast.

“This is not a reason to celebrate because oil spills don’t stop at state lines. As long as any part of the Atlantic coast is open to drilling, all Atlantic states are at risk. Keep the champagne corked until the entire Atlantic coast is protected.” —Senior Attorney Sierra Weaver

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, for example, reached five states.

Back to the OP, and evidence the Trump administration is determined to allow drilling off NC's coast, despite strong opposition:

In June 2019, the N.C. Division of Coastal Management announced that it had found seismic testing inconsistent with the state’s coastal policies. Testing would likely harm fish habitats, fisheries and the coastal economy, the division wrote in a response to applicant WesternGeco.

This June, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration announced that in an appeal, it had decided in favor of one of the companies proposing seismic testing off of North Carolina.

N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein filed a federal lawsuit in August seeking to block NOAA’s seismic testing ruling.

In an interview with The News & Observer on Wednesday, Stein said he is reviewing this week’s executive order to determine if there is a potential legal claim against it.

“North Carolina’s beautiful coast (features) tourism and fishing generating billions of dollars in economic activity. Our people are as deserving of protection as those who live in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida and this discrimination against North Carolina has no basis in law. I can’t know why (Trump) did what he did, but it’s certainly irrational in law,” Stein said.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, thank goodness for Josh Stein.