RALEIGH, N.C. — The top lawyers for a dozen coastal states want the U.S. Interior Department to cancel the Trump administration’s plan to expand offshore drilling, warning it threatens their maritime economies and natural resources.
The attorneys general, all Democrats, wrote Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday about his agency’s proposed five-year oil and gas leasing plan that opens new ocean waters.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein says he assembled the coalition. He says his state’s coastal tourism industry alone generates $3 billion and 30,000 jobs.
The letter also was signed by attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Virginia.
Stein also told federal regulators this week that proposed changes to drilling safety requirements will increase exploration risks.