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Inslee, tribal groups object to offshore drilling plans

(David McNew/Getty Images)

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee will join tribal groups and coastal businesses to object to plans for oil drilling offshore of Washington state.

The action Monday afternoon by Inslee and the tribes comes the same day that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was to hold a public meeting about the offshore drilling proposal in Tacoma. The agency said that meeting has been postponed.

Inslee has asked 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 to Zinke Monday, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson warned that his office will sue if the state is not exempted from the plan.

Zinke announced plans last month 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.