The Trump Administration Will Not Allow Drilling Off the Florida Coast

Henrietta Brewer
January 12, 2018

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the plan would open up 90 percent of the country's outer continental shelf to oil and gas leasing, including an area off the coasts of OR and Washington. But Zinke's claim that Florida is unique is flat-out wrong.

Florida Governor Rick Scott quickly voiced his opposition, as did many other coastal governors. We chose to measure whether Scott had shifted his position on our Flip-O-Meter. Scott, a Trump ally, is expected to challenge U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson - wasn't entirely happy with Tuesday's announcement.

Gov Scott cheered the decision, saying he would "never stop fighting for Florida's environment and our pristine coastline".

While we applaud the decision, we are surprised expanding drilling off our shores was ever seriously considered. Today, he opposes an expansion.

"The Florida coastline that borders my district is all military testing and training ranges, where they have live fire exercises at super sonic speeds which is a critically risky place to be putting oil rigs", Dunn said. "This is not about politics, it's about policy and so this is a good day for our state".

"New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either".

Offshore oil rigs in the Santa Barbara channel.

"We shouldn't be playing with the future of Florida", Nelson tweeted Tuesday. "It doesn't make any sense". "This is just about the only positive step he has taken as governor in terms of environmental protection". We rated his promise broken in 2013.

An Interior spokeswoman declined to comment Thursday.

Scott's spokesman, Jonathan Tupps, expressed wonderment that oil-drilling opponents wouldn't be thrilled to see the oil-drilling plans scuttled.

As a result, the Interior Department now has plans to open 25 of 26 regions of the outer continental shelf for lease sales, including areas off California's coast that have been off limits since a 1969 spill and 12 spots in the Gulf of Mexico. "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".

Republican Gov. Scott-who usually favors fossil fuels and offshore drilling-reversed course and issued an unexpected condemnation of the proposal.

Or because Rick Scott has been a solid Trump supporter since early in the president's campaign.

Frank Knapp Jr., president and CEO of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast, or BAPAC, has more than 41,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families supporting its mission of opposing oil and gas exploration and drilling in the Atlantic.

Brown said her office has tried to contact Zinke about the impact of lifting the drilling ban. Unless you are Florida, for some reason.

The governors of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Oregon and Washington all have opposed offshore drilling plans.

We give Scott a Full Flop. That rejection sounds different from his stance when he first ran for governor in 2010 and he was open to drilling.

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