Former Vice President Al Gore went on the record against the Trump administration’s plan to open most U.S. offshore areas to oil and gas drilling, instead supporting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to pump more taxpayer funds into green energy.
“Governor Cuomo is demonstrating outstanding leadership in helping to solve the climate crisis and building a sustainable future,” Gore said at New York University on Friday, standing on stage with Cuomo, a Democrat.
Cuomo announced a $1.4 billion plan Friday to fund 26 green energy projects. The governor unveiled plans in February to develop $6 billion worth of offshore wind energy projects through 2030 off Long Island, N.Y. Gore praised Cuomo for his green energy push.
“His vision and leadership stand in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s malignant mission to make us even more dependent on the dirty and destructive fossil fuels,” Gore said.
— Al Gore (@algore) March 9, 2018
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President Donald Trump’s administration unveiled in January a plan to open more than 90 percent of offshore areas to energy development. It’s a complete reversal from former President Barack Obama’s administration’s offshore plan, which kept 94 percent of offshore areas off-limits.
Environmentalists and some coastal governors came out against expanded offshore drilling. Cuomo is the latest governor to officially ask the Department of the Interior to keep drilling out of the Atlantic Ocean. Gore joined him in voicing opposition to offshore drilling.
So far, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has only withdrawn a proposed lease sale off the Florida coast at the behest of Governor Rick Scott, a Republican. Zinke has held meetings with other governors over offshore drilling.
Cuomo wants Zinke to withdraw two proposed Atlantic Ocean lease sales on tourism grounds, similar to why he withdrew the proposed Florida leases. Instead, Cuomo’s proposed a $1.4 billion plan to fund 26 green energy projects.
“Now more than ever, it’s up to all of us to step up and act on this urgent cause of our time. Governor Cuomo is showing how it can be done,” Gore said at New York University.
Cuomo’s office claims the $1.4 billion will fund enough green energy to power more than 430,000 homes and create more than 3,000 jobs.
However, the state stands to lose out on fees and royalties generated by offshore drilling. Offshore drilling could also create thousands of jobs, according to reports.