Oregon governor seeks to block offshore drilling

Oregon governor seeks to block offshore drilling
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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed an executive order that seeks to ban offshore drilling in the waters off the state’s coast.

The order signed Thursday bans oil and natural gas drilling in the three miles of water that Oregon officials control. But it also directs state agencies to block infrastructure and other means to support drilling anywhere off the coast, which would make building pipelines or other structures difficult.

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The Trump administration proposed earlier this year to allow offshore drilling off Oregon and all other Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coast states. Nearly all Pacific and Atlantic coast states are fighting the plan.

“Oregonians have a long and proud history of standing up to defend our state. And at a time when the Trump administration is trying to allow oil rigs to be built off nearly every coastline in America, I’m tired of waiting for the federal government to come to its senses and realize that this is a terrible mistake,” Brown said in a statement.

“This executive order will make it clear to oil and gas speculators that Oregon is not for sale.”

Brown said Oregon’s coast supports 22,000 jobs and $2 billion of economic activity in recreation and tourism, plus another 5,500 jobs and $320 million in fishing, all of which would be under threat from the possibility of oil spills or other offshore drilling problems.

Oregon’s order comes after other states took their own measures to try to stop drilling. California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed legislation in September to block new drilling rigs or infrastructure in state waters, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed a similar policy.