Analysis, Commentary

Sierra Club: Secretary Zinke Scrambles to Make it Look Like He Cares Whether States Want Offshore Drilling Or Not

Offshore drilling accident
The off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon burns in the Gulf of Mexico April 21st, 2010. Jon T. Fritz/AP

Washington, DC –(ENEWSPF)—January 12, 2018

By: Gabby Brown

In the wake of questions about the rationale behind Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s removal of Florida from draft offshore drilling plans just days after it was released, Zinke is scrambling to create the appearance of a fair process.

The decision to exempt Florida from the plan was widely viewed as a stunt to support Florida Governor Rick Scott’s ambitions, and nearly every other coastal state governor responded immediately with a request to get the same treatment as Scott and have their states protected from drilling as well.

In response, Athan Manuel, Director of the Sierra Club’s Lands Protection Program, issued the following statement:

“Secretary Zinke is obviously in over his head, and was unprepared for the enormous backlash this reckless offshore drilling plan would create. With this stunt, not only has he possibly violated the law, he’s also tipped his hand on where his true priorities lie: with fossil fuel industry profits and his own political interest. Zinke can scramble all he wants to embark on the process that should’ve been taken from the start, but the jig is up. If Zinke really wants to show that he cares about protecting our coasts, he won’t subject any state to these terrible drilling plans.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit