14 January, 2018
The Trump administration last week proposed opening almost all USA offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, a move aimed at boosting domestic energy production and which sparked protests from coastal states, environmentalists and the tourism industry.
Zinke explained that he was directed by President Donald Trump to "rebuild our offshore oil and gas program in a manner that supports our national energy policy and also takes into consideration the local state voice".
"Nearly all of Florida's economy relies directly or indirectly on a tourism economy", Rooney wrote in a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. That conversation led to his decision to remove "Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms", Zinke announced Tuesday evening.
But less than a week after releasing the proposal - which would open up almost every inch of federal water to the possibility of offshore drilling - Secretary Ryan Zinke made an unexpected announcement on Twitter.
But when Trump's administration proposed an expansion of offshore drilling January 4, Scott said he opposed the idea and sought a meeting with Zinke.
Andrew Cuomo, New York's Democratic governor, tweeted: "New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either".
"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.More news: Freeze Tonight with Rain Changing to Snow
Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said on the Senate floor that "political games [are] being played with trying to drill off the coast of Florida".
Katie Martin, spokeswoman with the National Republican Senate Committee, fired back at Nelson, saying "instead of celebrating the announcement as a win for Florida, Sen".
McMaster said he has a friend who was walking on beaches in California outside of mansions in Malibu and she came off the beach with oily feet that she believed was linked to drilling rigs just past the horizon.
This proposal, which lifts a ban on offshore drilling in the United States placed by President Barack Obama near the end of his term as well as opens up leasing off the California coast for the first time since 1969, faces an uphill battle before it would result in actual leasing. "While the decision to remove Florida from offshore drilling is a good one, the Trump administration should drop its risky and foolhardy plan to drill around the U.S".
During a visit to Manatee Technical College Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott praised the reversal of plans for offshore drilling in Florida. Florida was not among the states that requested exclusion from the drilling plan past year, including California, Oregon, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington. In a press release last week, he said oil and gas drilling would have vast financial benefits, providing "billions of dollars to fund the conservation of our coastlines, public lands and parks".
Commissioner Donna Fiala agreed, worrying about what the impacts of drilling operations off Florida's coastline could have in the minds of potential visitors to the area.
Governors of several other coastal states, including North Carolina, quickly asked for the same favor.