Senator Cantwell Gets Interior Secretary Zinke’s Assurances
Washington Is Low Value for Drilling Program
The Olympic Forest Coalition submitted a comment opposing the Administration’s plan to overturn the offshore drilling protections in place. The Plan included one location in the Washington/Oregon planning region. U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the Plan would open 90% of the national continental shelf to drilling, including the Pacific Northwest.
Governor Inslee and Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz submitted opposition comments. Senator Maria Cantwell requested an extension of the comment period.
The Surfrider Foundation opposed the drilling program for the nation and led efforts to oppose the program because of its potential impacts on important habitats and recreational uses. The Surfrider Foundation’s 2015 Recreational Use Study found that the Washington coast attracted 4.1 million trips in a single year, resulting in $481 million from direct expenditures to our state’s coastal economy.
Senator Maria Cantwell, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, pressed Interior Secretary Zinke this week on the offshore oil drilling program. Mr. Zinke said that the West Coast does not have any significant resources. Still at risk are many coastal resources in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.