Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump administration says no oil drilling off Florida coast

Trump administration says no oil drilling off Florida coast

Cynicism has always been a part of politics, but rarely are politicians so brazen and self-serving as President Donald Trump and his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, have been over the past week.

These Senators strongly oppose the Trump Administration's offshore drilling plan, which is bad for the environment and public health and could devastate coastal economies.

Almost every governor of states on the East and West coasts have demanded to be exempted from the proposal after Zinke granted an exemption to Florida this week over economic and environmental concerns following a meeting with Gov. Rick Scott (R).

Critics, including longtime drilling opponent Sen.

Scott, who is expected to run for Senate later this year, came out against the Trump administration plan when it was first announced, saying his top priority is to ensure that Florida's natural resources are protected. Yet the alternative - that this spectacle was not planned but just as rushed and arbitrary as it seemed - is hardly better. "Brown asked for the same consideration Florida recently received and noted broad opposition from Republicans, Democrats and independents across the state to any expansion of oil and gas drilling off of the California coast", according to the summary of the call.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

"California is also "unique" & our 'coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver, ' " California Attorney General Xavier Becerra tweeted.

USA stocks end at records as euro gains on dollar
West Texas Intermediate ( WTI ) crude futures settled at $63.80 a barrel, up 23 cents, the highest since December 2014. The Australian dollar rose to $0.7891, from $0.7842, but shied away from stiff chart resistance at $0.7900.

The Interior Department said earlier in the day that Zinke had set up calls with the governors of Rhode Island, Oregon, California, Washington, Delaware and North Carolina to get their input.

Industry groups praised the announcement, the most expansive offshore drilling proposal in decades.

Zinke last week released a sweeping plan to open almost all waters off the nation's coastlines to oil and gas drilling, including a new lease sale off OR and Washington proposed for 2021.

The president will have to end his selective use of decision making if he plans to win the election in 2020.

For now, Zinke appears to have tuned out pleas from leaders in blue states.

If the Florida decision had been the result of a thoughtful process that ended in a report explaining how Florida's coast is somehow more precious than every other stretch of coast the Trump administration has slated to open, it would have at least appeared less capricious.

Gov. -elect Northam released a statement condemning the Trump administration's plan earlier this month.

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