Zinke meets with California governor on offshore drilling

Zinke meets with California governor on offshore drilling
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Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: Senate panel sets Pruitt hearing | Colorado joins California with tougher emissions rules | Court sides with Trump on coal leasing program Interior 'disappointed' by billboards protesting uranium drilling in Grand Canyon Court rejects greens’ climate case against federal coal mining MORE met with California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday to hear the governor’s objections to oil and natural gas drilling off the state’s coast.

Brown’s press secretary said the two met privately in his Sacramento office.

“This meeting was an opportunity to continue last month’s conversation ... regarding the state’s strong opposition to the federal government’s decision to expand oil and gas drilling off of California’s coast,” spokesman Evan Westrup said in a statement.

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“Secretary Zinke made it clear that California’s views will be taken into account.”

Brown has been a vocal opponent of Zinke’s plan, announced last month, to consider offshore drilling along the entirety of the Pacific coast, along with the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and all around Alaska.

Zinke said the offshore plan is a key piece of the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda, in which officials want the United States to dramatically increase its production of fossil fuels and other energy.

Brown and other California leaders made their objections known immediately.

But after Zinke quickly took Florida’s waters off the table for drilling during a meeting with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), California and other states have demanded similar exclusions. Zinke has not yet granted any.

Zinke is obligated by law to work with governors, congressional delegations, coastal communities and other key stakeholders in considering where to allow drilling.

“We’re going to listen to the voices of communities, of all of the stakeholders,” Zinke told reporters in rolling out the proposal Jan. 4. “Certainly, the states and local communities have a voice.”

He has met or spoken with numerous coastal governors. All Pacific and Atlantic coast governors have voiced objections or concerns to the plan except Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R).