Gov. John Carney joined a bipartisan group of seven Atlantic state governors in issuing a joint letter Jan. 19 to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, opposing the Trump administration’s plan to allow oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.

Along with Carney, the governors of Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Virginia signed the letter. The governors requested an exemption from new oil and gas drilling off their states and the entire Atlantic Coast, similar to the exemption offered to the state of Florida.

“Like Florida, each of our states has unique natural resources and an economy that is reliant on tourism as an essential driver. We support the notion of energy diversity, but the environmental and economic importance of the Atlantic Ocean must be weighed against the potential unintended consequences of these types of activities,” wrote the governors.

“Not only are ocean and oceanside resources at risk, but also nearby bays, estuaries, coastal communities, iconic natural areas and ports. The irreversible impact on ecosystems including marine mammals, fish, sea turtles and other aquatic life that inhabit the ocean offshore is gravely concerning, as is potential risk and harm to our state’s economies, our natural resources, our military installations and our residents,” wrote the governors.

The full letter is available at