WASHINGTON, D.C. — Almost two dozen Senate Democrats have asked the Trump administration for an extension of the public comment period ending Friday for the proposed offshore drilling plan, The Hill reported.
The top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, was joined by 22 colleagues Monday in a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke seeking the 60-day extension.
March 9 is the end of the two-month period that the Interior Department is taking comments on the plan, which was released Jan. 4. The plan proposes drilling in most U.S. waters, including along the entire Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts and most of Alaska.
The letter explains that the lawmakers, considering the draft proposes drilling nearly the entire U.S. coast, say a 60-day extension is necessary to allow for more public hearings in coastal communities and to give the public more time to submit comment. The letter continues that the lawmakers criticized the public input process because the 23 meetings that were held were not near the coast nor in the proper format.