This month, when the Trump administration unveiled its plan to open virtually all areas of U.S. federal waters to oil and gas exploration, most of New England’s elected leaders expressed outrage. Every member of the US Senate and US House from the five coastal New England states signed onto a bipartisan bill to ban drilling in the region, while every governor from Massachusetts to Florida announced their intention to seek an exemption. Florida’s governor even got one.
The one exception: Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage, who not only didn’t join the chorus, he’d written a letter in August asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to do just what he did.
In this week’s Maine Sunday Telegram I report on the controversy and how LePage’s stance on drilling may complicate Maine’s effort to get a Florida-like exemption.
I previously reported on oil and gas drilling in our region in late 2015, when Canada leased areas on their side of the border, at the entrance to the Gulf of Maine.