Friday, May 4, 2018

NY Gov. Unveils Plan to Block Trump's Offshore Drilling

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who once counted Trump among his Legal Clients and Campaign Contributors, took another Confrontational stance against the President, rolling out Legislation to Obstruct his Administration's Plans to allow Oil Exploration off New York's Coastline.

Trump announced his intention to Open nearly All Federal Waters to Drilling in January, though Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke quickly Exempted those Surrounding Florida following Protests by Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Cuomo cited Federal Figures at his Press Conference in Battery Park that suggested the Sea Floor near Long Island and New York City might hold 1.8 Billion Barrels of Oil and 11 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas. He asserted this would make the State "a target," and Claimed it could subject Downstate Residents and Businesses to everything from Noise Pollution from Sonar Probes to Catastrophic Oil Spills. "It will devastate our coastal economies and cause irrevocable harm to the environment," Cuomo claimed. "It is just an unacceptable risk." Particularly Endangered, He claimed, were Long Island's Tourism, Fishing Industries, and Shipping into New York Harbor.

The Governor's Legislative Antidote, called the "Save Our Waters" Bill would:

- Block Pipelines or any other Piece of Hydrocarbon-Carrying Infrastructure from touching New York's Shoreline.

- Prohibit Leases for Drilling Underwater within Three Miles of New York's Coastline.

- Prohibit Drilling-related Infrastructure on State land.

- It would Bar the Intrastate Transportation of any Oil Harvested in International Waters, by Blocking Navigation on New York Waters of Crude Oil associated with Offshore Production in the North Atlantic.

Cuomo argued that the Federal Government enjoys Jurisdiction over Territorial Waters in the Atlantic, but that the State remains Sovereign over its own Soil. "We control our state and our shores," the Governor said. "You put in an oil platform, you better be prepared to run that pipe to Virginia, because it's not going to run to the state of New York."

The Federal Government should hear My Message. "There is no how, no way we will ever allow offshore drilling," Cuomo said.

Cuomo has been pushing Renewable Energy Initiatives such as Solar and Wind Power, and during a March Event in New York City with former Vice President Al Gore, the Governor called Republican President Trump's Drilling Expansion Plan a "really, really dumb idea."

"We can no longer be fossil fools and continue to advance outdated, potentially damaging offshore drilling," said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

Cuomo seemed Confident of Support from the Democratic-controlled Assembly, but acknowledged it might hit the rocks in the GOP-run State Senate. However, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-2nd District) hails from Suffolk County, and several of his Members facing Stiff Democratic Challenges come from other parts of Long Island, where the Idea of Local Offshore Drilling is not Popular.

Still, it is unclear whether the Bill could withstand Legal Challenges if it became Law. The Federal Government has long and successfully argued that its Decisions preempt State Ones. But the Governor, facing Re-Election this Fall and rumored to be a Presidential Contender in 2020, seemed to relish the prospect of a Court Battle.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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