VIDEO: In Appropriations Hearing, Pingree Presses for Maine Exemption From Drilling Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In an exchange with Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) pressed for Maine to be exempted from the Administration’s offshore drilling proposal.
After sharing her concerns about the threats that offshore drilling would present to Maine’s natural resources and economy, and an inadequate process for the public to provide feedback, Pingree asked, “Frankly, why did you exempt Florida and not us? We deserve one.”
Zinke offered reassurances that Maine would most likely not be included in the Administration’s draft plan that will be released in the months ahead—for low likelihood of fuel deposits, lack of drilling infrastructure, and opposition in affected communities.
“I certainly will look forward to seeing the draft. You in fact made a lot of good arguments for why Maine should be exempted,” Pingree replied. “Just get this off the table sooner rather than later.”
Pingree also questioned Secretary Zinke about claims that a report on rising sea levels and extreme weather at national parks would be edited to exclude mentions of climate change, and the choice of Susan Combs—a critic of the Endangered Species Act—to head the department’s enforcement of the law.
Those questions and responses can be viewed here.