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Trump offshore drilling plans

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    January 7, 2018 10:25 PM PST

    The Trump administration's announcement that it would open up millions of acres of America's offshore waters for oil and gas drilling was met with incredulity as the news went viral Friday. "AIN'T. GONNA. HAPPEN" By Sunday, experts were dismissing the brash president's plans as untenable and ridiculous. "Oil drilling off America's West Coast is simply dead in the water...pardon the pun," said Seattle policy analyst David Richardson. "This is a tttlk3#l7yl1`3 clear case of our fake president generating fake news that will end up going nowhere," Richardson told Xinhua Saturday. America's 45th president, unafraid to generate controversy and take on opponents, this time has taken on 23 U.S. states that border ocean or gulf waters. Thus far, none say they want more drilling off their shores. And America's three western states that border the Pacific Ocean and represent 1,293 miles of coastline (2,080 km) are mounting resistance that may stop Trump offshore drilling plans, and could represent the biggest re-election pothole for the embattled president. "We'll do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action," said a statement signed by the governors of California, Oregon, and Washington. California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, considered a top candidate for this year's governor election, tweeted Thursday: "Hey @realDonaldTrump, I've got a message for you from California: Ain't. Gonna. Happen." Newsom said California's coastline is managed by the state's land commission and they have been actively working since April 2016 to "create an environmental rampart" to stop the expected executive action. California effectively blocked new drilling operations after 1969 when a Union Oil Co. spill off Santa Barbara drenched 35 miles (59.5 kilometers) of coastline with more than three million gallons of crude oil. "California's door is closed to President Trump's Pacific oil and gas drilling," Newsom said in a written statement Thursday. "AMERICAN ENERGY DOMINANCE" U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke glorified the Cheap Marlboro 100 Cigarettes Online hot sale plan as part of a larger, federal goal of "achieving American Energy Dominance" and competing with other oil-rich nations. Studies say that at least 18 billion barrels of oil can be produced from areas that are currently off-limits - enough to fuel the country for almost three years - and thereby reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Zinke told reporters that those restrictions have cost America billions of U.S. dollars in lost revenue and said the new proposal would make about 90 percent of those waters USA Cheap Marlboro 100 Cigarettes Online available for leasing. After the wake of a 1980 spill that gushed five million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Congress imposed a moratorium on drilling in 1981 that shut down most of the nation's coastlines. The BP-Deepwater Horizon accident killed 11 workers triggering the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history and one of the country's worst environmental calamities. In 2016, the Obama administration blocked drilling on about 94 percent of the outer continental shelf - the submerged offshore area between state coastal waters and the deep ocean. The Zinke's plan follows data released by the biggest oil industry lobbying group, the American Petroleum Institute, which proclaimed Thursday that oil and gas support 10.3 million U.S. jobs and added 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars to the nation's economy in 2015. Thursday, the Institute published five separate articles on its website, saying the economies of Virginia, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, would benefit from the proposed drilling. However, almost immediately, the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia officially announced they opposed the plan. RESISTANCE ON ROAD Resistance to the Trump plan has flowed past upcoming state government roadblocks as 60 leading environmental groups signed a statement this week and are sharpening their swords. "Litigation is definitely on the table but we have to get through the public process first," Friends of the Earth (FOE) spokesperson Marcie Keever told Xinhua. It is predicted that the public input process, "with hearings in every state where there is drilling proposed," will dominate American media coverage during the next 90 days, according to Keever. "And, after more Trump bashing, the state governments will rise up and slap him down...again," Richardson said. "This president's shortsightedness and ignorance are unparalleled in U.S. history, and he is certainly a glutton for punishment," he added. Atop the list of absurd Trump realities is the assertion that fossil fuel extraction and consumption are "not yesterday's news," according to America's leading environmental groups who represent millions of people. "This move is not a path towards 'energy dominance' but a shortsighted and reckless ploy that furthers the destruction of our climate and the long-term wellbeing of communities," said Thanu Yakupitiyage, U.S. Communications Manager for 350.org. "But like every proposal Trump has made to rollback climate protections, we are ready to block it every step of the way and demand the fossil free future that we deserve," Yakupitiyage told Xinhua Friday. Oakland, California-based 350.org was founded in 2008 author Bill McKibben and says its "network extends into 188 countries." While Zinke promised to "responsibly developing our energy resources on the Outer Continental Shelf in a safe and well-regulated" in the statement, naysayers responded in chorus "No." "It' s not a matter of if a spill will happen, it's when," Heal the Bay Vice President Sarah Sikich told the Los Angeles Times. LACKS ECONOMIC REALITY Sikich says the now clean waters around Santa Monica Bay and the California Coast support a billion-dollar economy that is directly threatened by the president's action. Although Zinke said the announcement "lays out the options that are on the table and starts a lengthy and robust public comment period," oil and gas experts think the plan lacks economic reality as well. "Considering all the potential financial, regulatory and legal problems oil companies would face in drilling off California, oil prices would have to go far higher to make that enticing, said pro-oil ClearView Energy Partners in Washington, D.C. Industry experts agree that drilling in deep waters for offshore oil and gas is extraordinarily risky and Cheap Marlboro 100 Cigarettes Online expensive, with a one-billion-U.S. dollar price tag per well, and a 10-year timetable before production. And renewable energy groups such as Colorado's Rocky Mountain Institute point to studies showing solar energy becoming more cost effective than fossil fuel burning by 2023. "The Trump Administration continues to uphold fossil fuel billionaires and their profit mongering over the realities of science and climate change," Yakupitiyage said.