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Florida wins exemption from Trump's offshore drilling plan

14 January, 2018, 00:06 | Author: Glenda Knight
  • Is An Offshore Drilling Boom In The Cards?

Zinke said President Trump had directed Interior to consider "the local and state voice" as the revamped drilling policy is scrutinized under public comment before it could be finalized. But on Tuesday, following objections from Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Zinke said Florida would be exempt from the plan.

Interior Secretary Zinke held a press conference at the Tallahassee airport announcing the Trump administration will not be drilling off the coast of Florida after he and Gov.

Scott had criticized the Trump administration's decision to support offshore oil and gas drilling on the outer continental shelf off the coasts of the US.

The Trump administration will cancel plans to allow oil drilling off the coasts of Florida at the request of Gov. Rick Scott, seen in Doral, Fla., last year.

Sen. Nelson said he's filed new legislation to permanently ban drilling off of Florida's coast.

"New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either", tweet New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"Governor Scott's strong leadership on this issue and President Trump's swift response were commendable, and I am proud that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle could unite to protect the Sunshine State", said the Trump ally.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's drilling plan would open 90 percent of the nation's offshore reserves to development by private companies.

The South Carolina Republican, who represents parts of the state's coast including Charleston, also said there may have been a personal motive for Trump behind the move. Massachusetts, Senator Ed Markey is also opposed to Zinke's plan, stating, "The Trump administration's plan would be to turn the waters off of Massachusetts and every coastal state in the country into a fossil fuel free-for-all, and would threaten Massachusetts' fishing industry, our tourism industry and the environment with the threat of an oil spill".

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Democrats and environmentalists have accused Zinke of making a purely political calculation in order to bolster Scott, who may run for a US Senate seat now held by Bill Nelson, a Democrat.

Environmentalist group Oceana said it hopes the White House hears complaints from other states - that might not have a GOP chief executive like Scott.

Other states along the coasts, many with Republican governors, have pledged to fight the rule and seek the same exemption Florida received.

In his first campaign for governor in 2010, Scott called for Florida's offshore drilling moratorium to be lifted, according to Politifact.

California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra posted on Twitter following the announcement that by using the same criteria as Florida, California should also be exempted.

Commissioner Donna Fiala agreed, worrying about what the impacts of drilling operations off Florida's coastline could have in the minds of potential visitors to the area.

The biggest state that will have a right to complain is California, which had experience with an offshore drilling platform sending oil onto its beaches in 1969 and would like to avoid a repeat.

Governors of several other coastal states, including North Carolina, quickly asked for the same favor.



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