Trump Exempts Florida from Offshore Drilling

Trump Exempts Florida from Offshore Drilling January 11, 2018

The Trump administration wants to open up the entire continental shelf on both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil drilling. They announced a plan to do just that last week. Then Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke met with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and suddenly that state was exempted from the plan:

OilWell

The Trump administration said Tuesday it would not allow oil drilling off the coast of Florida, abruptly reversing course under pressure from Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said after a brief meeting with Scott at the Tallahassee airport that drilling would be “off the table” when it comes to waters in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean off Florida.

The change of course — just five days after Zinke announced the offshore drilling plan — highlights the political importance of Florida, where President Trump narrowly won the state’s 29 electoral votes in the 2016 election and has encouraged Scott to run for Senate…

Zinke said Tuesday that “Florida is obviously unique” and that the decision to remove the state came after meetings and discussion with Scott.

Yeah, totally unique. It’s not like there’s a thriving tourism business in coastal cities like Charleston or Savannah or Hilton Head. It’s not like people visit the Chesepeake Bay or Long Island or Cape Cod, or along the Oregon, California and Washington coasts. If offshore oil drilling is a threat to the environment (and thus to tourism) in Florida, why is it magically not a threat in other states? Because Florida is a key swing state and offshore drilling is very unpopular there, perhaps? Nah, that couldn’t be it. Because that would be dishonest. And we all know that the defining characteristic of the Trump administration is that it’s unfailingly honest.

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