Zinke hints at Maine exemption for offshore gas drilling

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he believes Maine residents will be “very happy” with a revised proposal on offshore drilling, which notes there are few reserves off the coast of Maine.

The secretary’s comments on April 11 in Washington, D.C. suggest the Maine coastline may be excluded from the next version of the Interior Department’s plan for offshore drilling.

The Portland Press Herald reported Zinke was responding to U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, noting there was strong opposition to drilling off the Maine coast.

Pingree urged the secretary to officially remove the state from consideration if Maine’s next governor opposes offshore drilling.

Currently, Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage is the only governor on the East Coast to support the department exploring coasts for energy reserves.

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