Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday said California plans to ask for an exemption from the Trump administration’s proposed expansion of off-shore oil-drilling, seeking the same exception that the White House gave to Florida from a controversial plan that upset residents of coastal states.
Trump’s Interior Department last week released a plan to open more shorelines to oil and gas drilling, including proposing six new leases for drilling platforms off the California coast. The Trump administration cast the proposal as an effort to boost energy security.
Coastal governors, however, condemned the plan. The West Coast’s three governors, for instance, released a joint statement saying the drilling plan would expose their shorelines to oil spills and exacerbate global warming.
On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that Florida would be exempt from the plan. Zinke touted Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s leadership and said that the state is “unique” in its reliance on coastal tourism.
California’s Democratic governor said his state deserves the same courtesy.
“We’re certainly going to ask for that. They’ve set the precedent in Florida and we’ll try to get” the exemption,” Brown said at a press conference.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the state is planning to fight the Trump administration’s decision.
“The state of California is communicating our objections and concerns with the proposed change in policy,” Becerra said in an interview. “We will certainly provide to the administration communication about our interests and our objections. We’re going to make sure California is treated equally under the law and that our interests are protected.”
On Tuesday, he quoted Zinke’s statement on Twitter and wrote that California is also “unique” and reliant on coastal tourism. “If that's your standard, we, too, should be removed from your list. Immediately,” Becerra wrote.