Trump Exempts Florida from Offshore Drilling

Trump Exempts Florida from Offshore Drilling

Critics of the Trump administration's decision to exclude Florida from its offshore drilling plan say it has little to do with protecting the state's environment, and more to do with Gov. Rick Scott's political ambitions.

Zinke highlighted Scott's role in the deal.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the plan would bolster the country's economy and energy security while funding conservation efforts.

Andrew Cuomo, New York's Democratic governor, tweeted: "New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either".

"He is a straightforward leader that can be trusted", Zinke said.

And in a video interview for "Anderson Cooper 360", the OR governor expressed incredulity over Zinke's claims that Florida's coastline was unique for its dependence on tourism.

Nelson dismissed Zinke's decision Tuesday as a "political stunt".

Scott's spokespersons argued that Scott made no flip.

"This is about playing politics with our coast", Sierra Weaver, Senior Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), said. In that same speech, Nelson announced that he had filed legislation to permanently ban drilling off the Florida coast.

Rick Scott voiced opposition soon after the plan's January 4 release, a letter submitted by the state Department of Environmental Protection previous year did not oppose the drilling plan or ask for Florida to be exempted. If that's your standard, we, too, should be removed from your list. "Rick supports expansion of nuclear power, use of alternative fuels and off-shore drilling". In fact, even the bayous of Texas and Louisiana have their charms, and their tourism industries (which have been damaged by leaks, including the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon blowout).

Inslee and his office wrote to the Trump administration in August and again last week, and both called and sent a letter to Zinke Thursday, he told CNN, but he has not gotten any response. "So we're entitled to the same exception and we're going to fight until we get it", he said. "It doesn't make any sense".

McMaster said he would take "appropriate steps" to urge the president's administration to curb the expansive drilling plan. We rated his promise broken in 2013.

Other governors also voiced not-in-my-backyard opposition to expanding offshore drilling. Scott was initially mum.

Zinke's action is especially outrageous because Florida - unlike California, Washington and other states - did not expressly oppose the drilling proposal in written comments submitted to the Interior Department, Cantwell said. But Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has reversed course on part of that plan, saying the Florida coast is now "off the table" because the state is "obviously unique". "My top priority is to ensure that Florida's natural resources are protected, which is why I proposed $1.7 billion for the environment in this year's budget". Bill Nelson (D), Mr. Scott's likely opponent in November, immediately accused the Trump administration of orchestrating these announcements to boost the Republican in a key 2018 race.

And Florida is where Trump has a winter home in Palm Beach.

Oil and gas exploration doesn't seem to be entirely off the table, though.

According to Matt Lee-Ashley, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress and former deputy chief of staff in Obama's Interior Department, Zinke's Twitter announcement that Florida will be exempt undermines the process of the drafting of the final drilling plan.

Commissioner Janet Long said opening Florida's waters to oil and gas drilling was "irresponsible".

The Commission stands ready to fight against the threat of oil drilling offshore Pinellas' beaches.

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