One Virginia congressman is very “concerned” by a plan to expand offshore drilling.
Democratic Rep. Donald McEachin slammed the Trump White House on Monday for supporting the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, despite growing bipartisan opposition.
“The Republican mayor of Virginia Beach has come out against it. Many Republicans in our city have come out against this plan,” he told Cheddar Monday. “What I really think it shows is that the Trump Administration is tone-deaf when it comes to issues like offshore drilling."
The proposed program, helmed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, was unveiled in January and opposition is picking up steam. Virginia governor Ralph Northam, another Democrat, is meeting with environmental groups Monday to discuss their concerns.
The plan looks to open up more than 90 percent of U.S. continental waters for drilling and exploration. It diverges from an Obama era policy which set offshore drilling limits in efforts to protect the environment.
McEachin, a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, said during the interview that Zinke’s bill will not benefit his constituents and could instead kill some 91,000 jobs.