Zinke Pulls Florida From Offshore Drilling Plan

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Zinke highlighted Scott's role in the deal.

President Donald Trump's administration has chose to exempt Florida from its unsafe decision to open nearly all of America's waters to offshore drilling. "We shouldn't be playing politics with the future of FL".

In a speech Wednesday on the Senate floor, Nelson said he sent Zinke a letter asking about the issue and whether Floridians will have a say.

The move left other states hanging and Democrats wondering if it had anything to do with Scott's possible run for Senate later this year.

Zinke Pulls Florida From Offshore Drilling Plan
Zinke Pulls Florida From Offshore Drilling Plan

While we applaud the decision, we are surprised expanding drilling off our shores was ever seriously considered.

But, he said he did not like how Scott apparently got the state waived from an otherwise all-encompassing federal drilling plan. It includes all but one of 26 "planning areas" in federal waters off US coastlines, making up about 90 percent of the outer continental shelf.

During that summer, Scott reiterated his call for safe offshore drilling when meeting with Panhandle fishermen.

No governor should. Will the Trump administration support one and oppose the others?

"This sort of activity happening in our backyard, given our fragile ecosystem and given the facts I have just stated - it doesn't make any economic sense". Scott was initially mum.

An Interior spokeswoman declined to comment Thursday.

"It is better for the environment to produce energy here under reasonable regulations", Zinke said.

President Trump's proposal to massively expand offshore oil and natural gas drilling off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts drew criticism from liberals and conservatives alike, who warn that such operations at sea could expose coastal areas to the risks of blowouts, explosions, catastrophic spills and seismic blasting. If the governor of a coastal state is opposed to such drilling out of concern that an oil spill would inflict serious harm to the state's tourism industry, the federal government is willing to back down.

On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke bowed to pressure from the Republican Governor and said drilling would be "off the table" in waters in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean off Florida. "By removing Florida from consideration, we can now focus on how we can further protect our environment, including our proposal for record funding for the Everglades, our springs, our beaches and our state parks", Scott said in a statement.

Like Scott, McMaster is a Republican and a Trump supporter, which is expected to weigh in his favor.

"Suddenly Secretary Zinke announces plans to drill off Florida's coast and four days later agrees to 'take Florida off the table?' I don't believe it", Nelson said in a released statement.

Zinke has said he based his decision on that appeal. After the Deepwater Horizon explosion, he added language to his campaign website to state that he wanted drilling done in an "environmentally sound way and adhering to the strictest of safety standards".