Gov. Inslee wants Washington removed from drilling plan

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2013, file photo, a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter flies over the Kulluk, the Shell floating drill rig off Kodiak Island in Alaska's Kiliuda Bay. (James Brooks/Kodiak Daily Mirror via AP, File)

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee is asking U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to remove Washington, along with the entire Pacific coastline, from a list of proposed sites for potential offshore oil and gas drilling.

In a letter sent Thursday, Inslee cited the recent decision to remove Florida's coastlines from the proposed program, writing that "every state should be granted a similar opportunity to protect its marine and coastal waters."

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Democrats have argued that Trump and Zinke were being hypocritical by agreeing to a request by Florida's Republican governor to withdraw from the drilling plan, but not making the same accommodation to states with Democratic governors.

Zinke announced plans last week to greatly expand offshore oil drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic and Pacific oceans, including multiple areas where drilling is now blocked. The plan was immediately met with bipartisan opposition on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.