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Trump Exempts Florida from Offshore Drilling

Trump Exempts Florida from Offshore Drilling

Scott noted that he "met and talked ... multiple times" with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over the previous year, and "was very clear" that he didn't want to see offshore drilling off our coast.

State Rep. Al Williams, a Democrat from the hamlet of Midway on Georgia's seashore, called the White House plan "a bad idea that could have profound negative effects on Georgia's coast".

Inslee, a Democrat and harsh critic of the Trump administration, is one of a host of politicians from coastal states opposed to drilling who hope Zinke can be persuaded to further restrict the offshore drilling.

"Two days in, the Trump administration has shown us exactly what their offshore drilling proposal is all about and it has nothing to do with listening to local and state voices, economics, or science".

The plan now under review by the Department of the Interior, and requested by the White House, would allow oil drilling near Florida's Gulf coastline for the first time in decades. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted, New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either.

That conversation led to his decision to remove "Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms", Zinke announced Tuesday evening.

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. The plan calls for 47 potential lease sites, including nine off the Atlantic coast, where there have been none since 1983. The industrialization and infrastructure associated with drilling -- the rigs, refineries, pipelines and traffic - is not merely a nuisance; it would wreck our environment, economy, and quality of life.

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Zinke said Scott's concerns about oil spills damaging Florida's beaches and tourism industry prompted the reversal. This year he began to champion environmental issues in the budget, proposing to spend $1.7 billion on conservation-minded projects, including an additional $50 million for state parks, $55 million for springs, $100 million for beaches, $355 million for Everglades restoration and $50 million for Florida Forever - something for everyone green.

Northam said offshore drilling would pose financial risks to Virginia. Zinke cited Florida's tourism economy as one of the reasons it was removed, but that holds true for the entire Atlantic Coast.

"Washington is home to the nation's largest shellfish industry, and its marine and coastal waters support robust fishing and shipping economic sectors, as well as a significant U.S. Navy presence supporting our national defense".

All this could be at risk.

It is a seemingly arbitrary move that has raised questions about whether the Trump administration is trying to influence Scott's possible upcoming Senate run, or even protect the president's substantial Floridian real estate holdings.

Commercial fishing groups that have opposed offshore wind farms have been somewhat less vocal in their condemnation of Trump's oil and gas drilling plan. "This is a matter of serious importance to us in SC", said McMaster. Jerry Brown, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee - the three West Coast governors, all Democrats - said in a statement. The decision is simply stunning. The shift away from fossil fuels toward renewables, including offshore wind turbines, as well as demand reduction, is the only responsible course for the seas and the Earth.

Fortunately, this is not the end of the story. And so for Floridians, we are not drilling off the coast of Florida. "Bill Nelson, it looks like a political play to make Rick Scott look like some sort of a hero", Glickman said.


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