President Donald Trump has said he has extended a ban on oil drilling off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia until 2032. The decision comes 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, Reuters reported.
More from Reuters:
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.
4, but has drawn vehement opposition from nearly every coastal state over concerns related to potential oil spills that could spoil beaches and hurt their lucrative tourism industries.
Democrats have made huge political gains in Virginia in recent years, buoyed by a backlash against Trump, particularly in suburban areas.