Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Gov. Scott praises Trump administration's decision to not drill off Florida coast

Gov. Scott praises Trump administration's decision to not drill off Florida coast

After Florida's Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who strongly opposed the move to drill for oil and gas off the state's coast, met with United States Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke Tuesday, the Department of the Interior announced that Florida's coast will no longer be considered for oil and gas drilling. Nelson tweeted: "This is a political stunt orchestrated by the Trump administration to help Rick Scott, who has wanted to drill off Florida's coast his entire career".

Zinke said his decision to exempt Florida was because its coasts are unique and high tourist attractions. Florida is also a crucial swing state and home to President Trump's Palm Beach resort, Mar-a-Lago.

"As a result of our interest in making sure that there's no drilling here, Florida will be taken off the table, "Scott said January 9th, after meeting with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in Tallahassee".

Last Thursday, the Trump Administration released a plan that would allow the USA government to lease out almost all federal waters to oil companies for offshore drilling.

"We are outraged", she said.

Zinke traveled to Florida to meet with Scott, Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Swift said.

Meanwhile, as Governing notes, it's a little surprising that the Trump administration opted to make an exception for Florida - not just because of the backlash from other states but because of the potential profit in the eastern Gulf, right off Florida's coast.

Zinke has said that his decision on allowing wholesale offshore drilling isn't final, and that he will "no doubt" talk to all of the governors of coastal states.

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The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that started April 20, 2010, from an explosion at a BP Gulf drilling operation worsened our fears. The Trump administration announced this week it had ruled out drilling for oil and gas offshore Florida because, Zinke said, "its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver".

"The Trump administration wants to put fish and fisheries at significant risk while lining the pockets of their oil industry co-conspirators".

A second coastal governor, South Carolina's Henry McMaster, has now said he also is seeking continued protection against offshore drilling for his state.

Environmental groups also questioned Zinke's motivations.

A spokesperson for Nathan Deal said the Republican Georgia governor had "some concerns with opening up Georgia's pristine coastlines which he will convey to the congressional delegation".

"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.

"So you are exempting the state that is home to the festering cankerous conflict of interest that the administration likes to call the "Winter White House" and none of the other affected states?"

But, he said he did not like how Scott apparently got the state waived from an otherwise all-encompassing federal drilling plan.

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