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Florida Waters No Longer Off-shore Drilling Site, Benefits Bay County Economy

13 January 2018

The Trump administration has made a decision to exclude Florida's coastline from the recently announced offshore oil and gas drilling program.

Pressure from governor Rick Scott has apparently signalled a change of heart from the Trump Administration, whose Interior Department said last week more than 90% of the United States coastline was up for grabs to oil and gas exploration.

Zinke went on to say he personally has worked with Florida Governor Rick Scott and has "witnessed Governor Scott's leadership", as if that is a justification for exempting Florida from the Trump administration's reckless decision to grossly allow expansion of oil and gas drilling.

When the Trump administration recently announced plans to expand access to offshore drilling, Governor Scott immediately opposed it and called for a meeting with Secretary Zinke. These include 19 lease sales off the coast of Alaska, seven in the Pacific Region, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, and nine in the Atlantic Region.

"Secretary Zinke flew to Florida, met with the governor of Florida for 20 minutes at the Tallahassee Airport, and suddenly announced that he has now made a decision to 'take Florida off the table.' Sounds like a political stunt", Sen. 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.

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The real question now is will states who want no part of the offshore oil drilling deal sue to get what Florida got.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and new Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam took their case to Twitter.

"We are outraged", she said.

Rick Scott held a private meeting Tuesday afternoon.

"Using this logic", tweeted Newsom, "CA's cost should be declared free of offshore drilling as well".

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Keating said a Nelson-Scott contest for a critical Senate seat in a state won by President Donald Trump would feature "highly-loaded" campaign coffers.

"I fear this announcement of Secretary Zinke's is going to discourage Floridians from commenting on the proposal that was published just this Monday ... because our Floridians have been given false assurances that we all are in the clear". "We shouldn't be playing politics with the future of FL".

It's also worth noting that Trump's beloved Mar-a-Lago resort stands on Florida's Atlantic Coast, and a beachfront view dotted with offshore derricks isn't what the president's well-heeled club-goers expect for their $200,000 initiation fee. The same Republican governor who, for a hot second, said he supported drilling in the Everglades and advocated for offshore oil drilling even after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion as long as Florida's beaches were protected.

Other Republican coastal governors have expressed opposition to the plan as well, including South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

At the same time, officials in other coastal states want to know why Florida is exempt and not their states.

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It would reverse President Barack Obama's decision to keep the Atlantic coast off limits through at least 2022. Some of those safety rules are headed for a rollback under a separate effort by the Trump administration.

"I suspect he has only embraced this issue for political expedience", the environmentalist said. He said there would be more news about drilling later.

Florida Waters No Longer Off-shore Drilling Site, Benefits Bay County Economy