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Trump Exempts Florida from Offshore Drilling

13 January 2018
Trump Exempts Florida from Offshore Drilling

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.

Florida Republicans who protested the Trump administration's plan to open almost all coastal waters to drilling cheered a vow from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that their state would be "off the table" in the new plans going forward.

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. Shortly after the announcement, however, the president backed off his proposed drilling near the shores of the Sunshine State. It's not like people visit the Chesepeake Bay or Long Island or Cape Cod, or along the Oregon, California and Washington coasts.

It should go without saying that a spill on par with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, which pumped 215 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing $17 billion in damages and effects on wildlife and coastal areas that are still seen today, would be catastrophic for the state.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, called Zinke's action troubling.

Huckabee Sanders said that the "public comment" process was one in which "negotiations" would happen with state leadership.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions - who allegedly involved himself in the effort to oust former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey with a false pretext, repeatedly misled the Senate on his Russian Federation contacts, supported the noxious Muslim ban, has demonized illegal immigrants for a nonexistent crime wave (thereby justifying a war on so-called sanctuary cities) and reversed a promise made to senators when he chose to reactivate enforcement of marijuana laws against ordinary users - is arguably the most unsafe and malicious member of the president's Cabinet.

"I will never stop fighting for Florida's environment and our pristine coastline", Scott said Tuesday.

But Secretary Zinke's decision to take Florida off the table "should have his lawyers cringing", Hayes said.

Zinke added that he supports Scott's position that "Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver".

Zinke said Tuesday that "Florida is obviously unique" and that the decision to remove the state came after meetings and discussion with Scott.

"It seems incredibly hard to justify or explain that this is anything other than arbitrary or capricious", said Weaver. He'll reverse course to protect fellow Republicans in Florida, but not to protect coastlines and jobs across the rest of the country?

Creation of a new program for the outer continental shelf typically takes two or three years to complete, Moriarty said.

Members of Congress from both parties and both coasts have intensified their opposition to the Trump administration's plan to open nearly all of America's outer continental shelf to energy exploration.

On Wednesday, Cooper asked Zinke for an immediate meeting on the issue. "If it was anything but that, Secretary Zinke would have announced tonight that he was removing Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, where offshore drilling has already been rejected by local and state voices".

Democrats from coastal states accuse Zinke and Trump of punishing states with Democratic leaders while rewarding Republicans.

Maine's senators say they are opposed to offshore oil and gas drilling off Maine's coast. Then there is the price of oil in a few years' time to consider, as well as the fact that companies in the USA are increasingly earmarking investments into onshore shale at the expense of conventional offshore.