Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced a plan to block offshore drilling off the state’s coast on Monday.
“At a time when the states are doing more than the federal government to protect the environment, the Trump administration is trying to allow oil rigs to be built off of every single coast line in America except for Florida,” Brown said in a Facebook Live event. “I’m tired of waiting for the federal government to come to their senses and realize this is a terrible mistake.”
In January, the Trump administration released a five-year plan to expand oil exploration and drilling along the United States’ continental shelf, opening up 90 percent of the nation’s offshore oil reserves to industry. Brown asked Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to exempt the state’s coast from the administration’s proposal, citing a lack of oil reserves and the risks of drilling near the Cascadia fault. Zinke granted Florida Governor Rick Scott’s exemption request in January, but had not yet granted one to Oregon. “Time is up,” Brown said Tuesday.
“Today I’m announcing that I will sign an executive order to permanently ban offshore drilling along the Oregon coast,” Brown said, announcing she would work with state Senator Arnie Roblan, a Democrat who has spoken out against offshore drilling, to “make sure that no future governor can reverse this executive order with the stroke of a pen.”
Brown is facing a tough race for governor against Oregon Representative Knute Buehler. Oregon is a blue state, but the governor has a low approval rating, and she holds a narrow lead in the polls against the Republican challenger.