- Associated Press - Sunday, January 21, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A federal agency will hold a public meeting in Providence to discuss President Donald Trump’s plan to expand offshore drilling.

Rhode Island Democratic U.S. Sen. Jack Reed says the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be at the Providence Marriott Downtown on Thursday.

Reed says the public is invited to attend the meeting from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and submit prepared written comments.

The Trump administration has proposed a vast expansion of offshore drilling that would open 90 percent of the nation’s offshore reserves to development by private companies. The plan affects at least 22 coastal states.

Reed says he strongly opposes the plan, calling it bad for the environment, economy and public health.

The public comment period is scheduled to close March 9. Comments can be submitted online .

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