Trump admin decides not to drill off Florida after Rick Scott lobbying

Trump admin decides not to drill off Florida after Rick Scott lobbying

"Tourism and recreation along the DE coastline account for billions in economic activity each year, and support tens of thousands of jobs", Governor John Carney of DE, a Democrat, said on Twitter Wednesday.

Governors of coastal states have urged the Trump administration to scrap its plan to usher oil and gas drilling into nearly all USA waters, in an unusual bipartisan backlash against the surprise proposal itself - and the controversial twist that suddenly saw Florida, alone, excused from going along with it.

"If other governors would like to request meetings with the secretary", she said, "they are absolutely invited to do so".

On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the administration wouldn't allow drilling off Florida's coast, following a meeting with Gov. Rick Scott.

"The Maine lobster industry, for example, has an estimated $1.7 billion impact to the state's economy annually, not to mention the many other fishing, aquaculture and coastal tourism industries in Maine that help to support the economy", the senators wrote.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said after a brief meeting with Scott at the Tallahassee airport that drilling would be "off the table" when it comes to waters in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean off Florida.

Becerra added, "we, too, should be removed from your list".

Unlike Florida, California's executive is a Democrat-Jerry Brown-and the state voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

On the West Coast, the governors of OR and Washington signaled that they'd like to be "off the table", too.

The reaction from the state's Republicans on Capitol Hill was a bit more muted, while environmentalists and some coastal officials urged the governor to push for an exemption similar to the one the Trump administration recently granted Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

"Florida is obviously unique", Zinke said.

Walter Shaub, the former director of the office of government ethics, agreed with that premise. It includes all but one of 26 "planning areas" in federal waters off US coastlines, making up about 90 percent of the outer continental shelf. Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, referring to a 1946 law governing major regulatory changes said that the Administrative Procedure Act constrains that an equitable reasoning behind agency decisions, and they can not be unpredictable and inconsistent.

The Trump administration, last week, proposed opening almost all US offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, a move aimed at boosting domestic energy production and which sparked protests from coastal states, environmentalists and the tourism industry. Nelson was not pleased.

"I have spent my entire life fighting to keep oil rigs away from our coasts".

Questions about the legality of the Zinke's decision came as bipartisan opposition to the drilling plan mounted.

"Floridians should beware and they should make their objections known because if we don't, then the administration will try to say they never heard objections", Nelson said from the Senate floor on Wednesday. The statement said Zinke intends to meet or talk with any governor who submits a request.

But the plan could backfire.

Scott spoke out quickly against the plan before it was officially announced and Zinke told the Washington Post on Wednesday that Scott also contacted him in writing and that he felt an obligation to respond because they worked together personally on the federal response to Hurricane Irma. The protections in the current five-year plan (2017-2022) were based on thorough scientific analysis and a multi-year public comment period.

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