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At 'People’s Hearing,' Opponents Vow to Fight Offshore Drilling Plan

Enrique Perez de la Rosa
Northwest News Network
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and opponents of the Trump administration's proposal to expand oil and gas drilling at a ''People's Hearing'' in Olympia.

Elected officials in Washington state say they’ll fight the Trump administration’s proposal to expand offshore oil and gas drilling.

The plan could open up waters off the coasts of Washington and Oregon.

At a rally in Olympia Monday, Attorney General Bob Ferguson called the plan “BS” and warned the state would sue if it moves forward.

Commissioner of Public Lands Hillary Franz said the plan would put the state’s shoreline at risk for oil spills.

“We have collectively, all of us, worked far too long to protect those shorelines, not only for the natural resources and the environment but also for the local economies that depend on it,” Franz said. “And that’s why I am proud to join with you, raise our voices and declare absolutely not.”

Franz vowed the state would deny permits for any drilling operations that cross into state waters, which run three miles out from shore.

The Trump administration announced the proposal in January. It would open up almost the entire outer continental shelf of the United States to new oil and gas leases.

Federal officials were in Olympia Monday to answer questions but did not hold a public hearing.

Opponents held what they called a “people’s hearing” nearby, featuring testimony from officials, residents, environmentalists, coastal businesses, and others.

Deborah is an award–winning radio and television journalist whose career spans more than three decades. As the recipient of a 2018-2019 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship, Deborah is currently focusing her reporting on adolescents and mental health.