Christie wants Trump admin to exempt N.J. from offshore drilling

Christie wants Trump admin to exempt N.J. from offshore drilling
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Wednesday announced his intention to request an exemption from the Trump administration's expansion of offshore drilling rights, similar to the one granted to the state of Florida.

In a press release from the governor's office, Christie called for the Interior Department to grant New Jersey an exemption to Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeTrump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Big-game hunters infuriated by Trump elephant trophy debacle Interior moves ahead with opening wildlife refuge next to contaminated nuclear site MORE's recent announcement that nearly all of the nation’s outer continental shelf is being considered for drilling.

Zinke on Tuesday granted Florida an exemption through 2024.

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"For eight years, the Governor has been steadfastly opposed to drilling off the New Jersey coast. He remains so today. If exceptions are being made for other states, the Governor will certainly pursue the same type of exception for New Jersey. He also will consult with the Attorney General on additional steps to continue his policy of protecting New Jersey's coastline," Christie's press secretary Brian Murphy said in the release.

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Christie's request follows similar ones from the governors of California and New York, who issued similar statements after Zinke's announcement.

“New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either,” Cuomo tweeted Tuesday. “Where do we sign up for a waiver @SecretaryZinke?”

Florida's exemption came after a near-unified opposition effort from the state's elected officials on Capitol Hill as well as Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who met with Zinke on Tuesday to discuss the drilling expansion. Last week, Florida's senior Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Kavanaugh controversy consumes Washington | Kavanaugh slated to testify Monday | Allegations shake up midterms Florida governor booed out of restaurant over red tide algae issues Juan Williams: America warms up to socialism MORE (D) spoke out against the expansion of offshore drilling on the Senate floor.

“The BP spill devastated my state's economy and 11 people lost their lives,” Nelson said on the Senate floor last Wednesday. “That's why I plan to subject this misguided rule to the Congressional Review Act.”

Christie's second term as New Jersey's governor ends next week. He will be succeeded by Phil Murphy (D).