After Florida, more states press USA for offshore drilling exemptions
After Florida, more states press USA for offshore drilling exemptions
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
15 January, 2018, 00:40
He wanted to know why the administration made a decision to exclude Florida from its plan for offshore drilling while not also excluding Virginia.
"As a result of our interest in making sure that there's no drilling here, Florida will be taken off the table", Scott said.
Scott spoke out quickly against the plan before it was officially announced and Zinke told the Washington Post on Wednesday that Scott also contacted him in writing and that he felt an obligation to respond because they worked together personally on the federal response to Hurricane Irma.
"I'm 100 percent for keeping rigs off my coast", said Fred Kagi, who lives on Longboat Key.
Zinke's decision to exempt Florida from the administration's offshore drilling plan also raised questions as to why other states with unique coastlines and a reliance on tourism ― like California or SC, for example ― don't deserve the same treatment.
It is easy to be cynical here and suggest that Florida got an exemption because President Donald Trump, who has in the past flipped out about offshore energy-generating windmills ruining the view from his golf course in Scotland, does not want to look out a window at Mar-a-Lago and see oil derricks.
Analysts, however, think that the opposition to offshore drilling in the West and East coast states is just one of the reasons why the oil and gas industry will not be jumping into a kind of oil drilling rush along the USA coasts.
In a letter to Zinke, Gov. Cooper reiterated his opposition to offshore drilling off of North Carolina's coast and emphasized the threat to the state's coastal economy.
"I'm not aware of any political favor that that (Florida exemption) would have been part of", Sanders said Thursday. All four members of Maine's congressional delegation are opposed to offshore drilling near ME too.
Kate Brown is speaking out on behalf of Oregon's coastal communities.
Rick Scott seems to have found the secret to getting the Trump administration to undo a stupid and risky policy: just ask.
Oceana, an environmental lobby group, said it is pleased Zinke had removed Florida from areas open to drilling. It is something that will affect every coastal state, with the exception of Florida. Because, in a hubristic and market-deaf drive to make the USA the dominant player in global energy while the rest of the world tries to shift to renewable sources, the Trump administration insists on doubling down on oil and gas production.
"The secretary has said since day one that he is interested in hearing the local voice", she said.
Twenty minutes after that, Scott made the announcement that Florida would not be the place for offshore drilling.
Also keep in mind that the risks of oil spills off DE and New Jersey remain significant, due to large amount of tanker traffic and the lightering that takes place when shipments are moved from supertankers.
An Interior spokeswoman said Zinke talked by telephone Friday with six Democratic governors, all of whom oppose drilling off their state's coast: Govs.
Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) called it a "shameless political stunt", and said the coastline could still be a target and he would file legislation for a permanent ban. "Wonder why..." A few hours later, Kaine Tweeted: "Local voices in Virginia have also spoken up".
On Monday, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, wrote to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to oppose the plan, noting "Maine's economic stability - and countless Mainers' livelihoods - has always depended on the health of the ocean".
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