Trump Extends Offshore Drilling Ban in North Carolina, Virginia

September 27, 2020

President Donald J. Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, to board Marine One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Md. to begin his trip to North Carolina and Florida. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)
President Donald J. Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, to board Marine One en route to Joint Base Andrews, Md. to begin his trip to North Carolina and Florida. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he had extended a ban until 2032 on oil drilling off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia, weeks after a similar extension affecting offshore drilling in the waters off Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

"I'm extending the moratorium to North Carolina and Virginia," Trump said to applause at a campaign rally in Newport News, Virginia.

The Trump administration, which has worked to expand U.S. oil and gas drilling and roll back Obama-era rules on pollution from fossil fuels, originally wanted to expand offshore drilling off many of America's coasts, including Florida.

But proposals for drilling off Florida prompted fierce opposition from tourism, real estate, and environmental interests.

The latest decision could help Republican U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who is trailing his Democratic challenger, former state senator Cal Cunningham, ahead of the Nov. 3 elections.

(Reporting by Jeff Masson in Newport News, Virginia, and Valerie Volcovici in Washington; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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