Attorney General Bob Ferguson sent a letter today to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, opposing President Donald Trump’s proposal to allow oil and gas drilling off Washington’s coast and asking that Washington be exempted.
If Washington is not removed from the plan, Ferguson warns Zinke he will file a lawsuit.
“As a fourth-generation Washingtonian, I know this part of my state very well,” Ferguson writes in his letter. “Twenty years ago, I spent a week hiking from the Hoh River north to Shi Shi Beach. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Washington State’s coast is a special place, and it deserves protection.”
Ferguson’s letter warns that if “the Department of Interior seeks to put Washington’s coastal communities at risk, my office will initiate litigation against the Department to protect our coast.”
Washingtonians took an estimated 4.1 million trips to Washington’s coast in 2014, generating $481 million for Washington’s economy. Commercial fishing and seafood processing added another $117 million that year. Washington’s coast is also vital to coastal communities and tribes, and home to diverse and unique ecosystems.