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Florida's Exemption From Offshore Drilling Plan Called "Political Stunt"

12 January 2018

In furtherance of President Trump's misguided effort to ramp up domestic production of oil and gas, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced last week that almost all federal waters off the USA coastline would be opened to drilling.

Rick Scott voiced opposition soon after the plan's January 4 release, a letter submitted by the state Department of Environmental Protection previous year did not oppose the drilling plan or ask for Florida to be exempted.

Trump narrowly won Florida's 29 electoral votes in the 2016 election and has encouraged Scott to run for the Senate.

Gov. Cooper requested a meeting or call with Secretary Zinke to explain the risks of seismic testing and drilling off of North Carolina's coast and demand an exemption for North Carolina like Florida received.

Gov. Rick Scott met with a member of President Donald Trump's administration and struck a deal to remove Florida from a list of states proposed for more offshore oil drilling.

"We shouldn't be playing politics with the future of Florida", the senator said.

After the Trump administration promised Florida that the state would be exempt from expanded offshore oil drilling, other coastal states had just one question: "What about us?" We made a decision to measure whether Scott had shifted his position on our Flip-O-Meter.

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.

Yes, the same Rick Scott who reportedly banned the word "climate change" in state offices as Miami drowns, weakened Florida's environmental protections and perpetually resides in the pockets of Big Sugar and other pollutant industries even as Florida's coastlines teemed with guacamole goop.

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Commissioner Penny Taylor said that Rooney's willingness to oppose a policy proposal from an administration he has otherwise supported was admirable.

Zinke cited Florida's tourism industry as reason for the removal.

Gov. Scott rejoiced in the decision.

Zinke proposed vastly expanding offshore oil and natural gas drilling Thursday, stating most of the nation's outer continental shelf is being considered for drilling, including off the coasts of Maine, California, Florida and Alaska. "I don't believe it", Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson said in a statement.

"New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either", Cuomo tweeted Tuesday.

While the move by Rooney and Scott may cause some friction, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the disagreement would not damage the administration's relationship with the swing-state governor.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., took to Twitter on Tuesday, questioning why Zinke has yet to respond to their concerns.

Other Republicans from the state - including representatives from the eastern part of North Carolina like David Rouzer, Robert Pittenger, and George Holding - support drilling.

Florida's Exemption From Offshore Drilling Plan Called