by Anna M. Phillips and Rosanna Xia, LA Times
When President Trump proposed opening nearly the entire U.S. coastline to more offshore oil and gas drilling, the backlash from states seeking exemptions was swift.
Governors, Republican and Democratic, and state legislatures up and down the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines protested so vigorously that the administration promised to consult with them before finalizing any plans.
Instead, Trump is quietly laying the groundwork to weaken a decades-old federal law that empowers California and other states to slow and even stop offshore development in federal waters.
“Republicans are always supposed to be in favor of states’ rights,” said Richard Charter, who has worked on oil issues for 40 years and is a senior fellow at the marine conservation nonprofit Ocean Foundation. “But this is in fact an effort to take away states’ rights when it comes to offshore drilling.”
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