Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

A presidential solution to keep offshore drilling off Florida's waters

A presidential solution to keep offshore drilling off Florida's waters

The Democrat said he fears yesterday's announcement by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, delivered after a meeting with Gov. Rick Scott in Tallahassee, could "discourage Floridians from commenting on the proposal that was published just this Monday, the one that opened up Florida's entire coastline to drilling".

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. Rick Scott (R) a "straightforward leader that can be trusted", and noting that "Florida is unique and its coasts are highly reliant on tourism as an economic driver", Zinke said that he would be removing Florida waters from consideration for new oil and gas platforms. "I have already asked to immediately meet with Secretary Zinke to discuss the concerns I have with this plan and the crucial need to remove Florida from consideration".

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, took to Twitter to rhetorically ask why Florida was treated differently than Virginia in Trump's offshore drilling decision.

Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said on the Senate floor that "political games [are] being played with trying to drill off the coast of Florida". "Because we all like to go out to our beaches and enjoy them", Scott said.

Brown said her office has tried to contact Zinke about the impact of lifting the drilling ban.

If exceptions are being made for other states, the governor will certainly pursue the same type of exception for New Jersey.

THE Trump administration has raised the hackles of environmental groups and some fellow Republicans with a proposal to tap far more extensively into the country's vast offshore oil reserves.

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.

"Given that President Trump has been strongly encouraging Gov. Scott to run against Sen".

The Interior Department's new 2019-24 five-year plan could allow drilling in more than 90 percent of the outer continental shelf, which encompasses the areas of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans. "Our 'local and state voice" is firmly opposed to any and all offshore drilling.

He added "working coasts" like Louisiana are "very much different than a recreation-centric coast that's in Florida" and will still be subject to drilling.

On the west coast, which faces the prospect of the first drilling in the Pacific in three decades, Kate Brown, the governor of OR, tweeted to Zinke "let's do the same for Oregon" in reference to the Florida decision. "But unfortunately, I'm not surprised", Nelson said, calling the administration's change a "political stunt".

Another big problem he said is the necessary onshore infrastructure that can also damage the environment.

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