Florida cut from future offshore drilling

The DPP would sharply expand Outer Continental Shelf waters across the country to exploration and development.

The state Department of Environmental Protection sent an August 17 letter to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management raising concerns about the effects of oil and gas activities on the environment, but did not expressly oppose the drilling proposal.

Zinke ensured Scott, a term-limited governor who is considering a Senate bid, was given credit.

Nelson alleged that the Tuesday announcement was a political stunt coordinated between Scott and the White House.

"Governor Scott's strong leadership on this issue and President Trump's swift response were commendable, and I am proud that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle could unite to protect the Sunshine State", said the Trump ally. "And I can tell you Florida is well served". On Tuesday night, Secretary Zinke tweeted that after meeting with Governor Rick Scott, Florida would be exempted from the plan.

That's the same Rick Scott who banned his state's employees from using the term "climate change", which is ironic because climate change will be the long-term result of the USA drilling and using more oil, causing sea level rises that will inundate more of Florida. This is going to be at least a year with public comment. "I will never stop fighting for Florida's environment and our pristine coastline".

"Based on media reports, it is likely that the Department of the Interior will consider Florida as a potential state for offshore oil drilling - which is something I oppose in Florida". We don't even quibble with Scott's pitch to take Florida out of it.

Zinke said coastal damage from Hurricane Irma was another reason the administration was taking Florida out of consideration for offshore drilling.

"Just as you acknowledge in removing Florida, offshore drilling threatens tourism, which is a vital economic driver".

Image Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Florida Gov. Rick Scott in Sunrise Florida in on May 2017. Wilfredo Lee AP file

Republican Congressman Walter Jones opposes drilling. "Let's figure out how we can do it safely".

California experienced one of the worst oil spills in US history in 1969, from an offshore drilling site near Santa Barbara, as member station KPCC notes.

That is to say, of course, that Florida is not unique.

In a reversal of Obama-era policy (of course), the Trump administration has announced it will open up more of America's coastline to offshore oil drilling.

One of the most outspoken opponents, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, won a reprieve from the order this week.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California said on Twitter that his state, "like Florida, has hundreds of miles of handsome coastline and a governor who wants to keep it that way. Where do we sign up for a waiver?" This means that ME communities, fishermen, and coastal residents could be exposed to significant new dangers from oil pollution.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra used some of Zinke's statement regarding Florida to make his point on Twitter.

Florida Republicans and Democrats - including Nelson - criticized the possibility that Florida's waters could be opened to drilling. The state is also exploring legal options to prevent offshore drilling.

  • Stacy Allen