South Carolina governor calls on Trump admin to remove state from drilling plan

South Carolina governor calls on Trump admin to remove state from drilling plan
© Greg Nash

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) is planning to ask the Trump administration to exempt the state from an upcoming expansion of offshore drilling after Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeGOP lawmakers: Obama admin ‘hastily’ wrote lead ammunition ban Ex-Interior chief ribs Zinke over ‘secretarial flag’ Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week MORE announced a similar exemption for Florida.

"We cannot afford to take a chance with the beauty, the majesty and the economic value and vitality of our wonderful coastline,” McMaster told reporters Wednesday, according to The Post and Courier.

The South Carolina governor endorsed President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE during the 2016 presidential campaign and campaigned for Trump during the election.

Last week, Zinke announced a massive expansion of offshore oil and natural gas drilling off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, including areas off the coasts of Maine, California, Florida and Alaska.

But on Tuesday, Zinke announced that he wouldn’t allow offshore drilling in waters near Florida after meeting with Gov. Rick Scott (R) to discuss the governor’s objections to the plan.

 “I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver,” he said in a statement. “As a result of discussion with Gov. Scott's [sic] and his leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms.”

Multiple state officials, including California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraCourt rules Energy Dept. must implement Obama efficiency rules California secession supporters file new initiative Overnight Finance: Breaking down Trump's budget | White House finally releases infrastructure plan | Why it faces a tough road ahead | GOP, Dems feud over tax-cut aftermath | Markets rebound MORE (D) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), called on the Interior chief to remove their states from the plan after Florida was removed.

Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Swift said Wednesday that Zinke is listening to governors.

“The secretary has said since day one that he is interested in hearing the local voice,” she said. “Gov. Scott requested a meeting the day the plan was released. If other governors would like to request meetings with the secretary, they are absolutely welcome to do so.”