Editorials

Drilling decision is a foolish one

The Trump administration moved to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a plan that would open up federal waters off the California coast for the first time in more than three decades. The Santa Barbara Channel pictured is one of those areas.
The Trump administration moved to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a plan that would open up federal waters off the California coast for the first time in more than three decades. The Santa Barbara Channel pictured is one of those areas. AP

Why leave good rules in place when changing them could imperil coastal waters? That’s the philosophy of the Trump administration, apparently, when it comes to offshore drilling, which the administration now has moved to expand from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans, off the coast of California and with a five-year plan that could open new oil and gas exploration with drilling on the East Coast, from Georgia to Maine. That means off North Carolina.

There is no crisis that demands some kind of emergency drilling. There is no good reason to make this change save one: President Trump believes it to be a campaign promise, and something that will annoy liberals. And that’s good enough for him.

Kudos to Gov. Roy Cooper, who has dared to object: “Offshore drilling represents a critical threat to our coastal economy. Protecting North Carolina families and businesses is my top priority, and we will pursue every option to prevent oil drilling near North Carolina’s beaches, coastal communities and fishing waters.”

That’s good, because one big oil spill and the future of North Carolina’s coastal economy could be forever in jeopardy, to the tune of hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars.

Once again, Trump plays dumb, destructive politics without regard to the potential consequences of his showy actions.

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