Gov. Brown on offshore drilling proposal: 'We are outraged'

Adjust Comment Print

Scott noted that he "met and talked ... multiple times" with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over the a year ago, and "was very clear" that he didn't want to see offshore drilling off our coast.

The U.S. Interior Department announced the changes last week, opening up more than 90 percent of the country's outer continental shelf to oil and gas exploration and development beginning in 2019. If it did, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia would not be a part of this plan.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., described the reversal as "a political stunt orchestrated by the Trump administration to help Rick Scott" who has previously supported offshore drilling in Florida.

The state's top GOP officials in Washington indicated they were broadly supportive of moves to make the US more independent from foreign oil producers, but some cautioned that outside factors such as local opinions, environmental impact and economic potential should be taken into consideration.

Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift on Thursday released a statement that described the five-year draft plan for offshore drilling as an "open and public process" and said there will be revisions. "Where do we sign up for a waiver @SecretaryZinke", New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted.

Governors and other officials from several USA coastal states ramp pressure on the Trump administration to exempt their waters from an offshore drilling plan.

Interior Secretary Zinke held a press conference at the Tallahassee airport announcing the Trump administration will not be drilling off the coast of Florida after he and Gov.

The plan also called for 47 potential lease sales. The industrialization and infrastructure associated with drilling -- the rigs, refineries, pipelines and traffic - is not merely a nuisance; it would wreck our environment, economy, and quality of life. They rightly fear an oil spill that would cripple the multibillion-dollar coastal tourism economy that sustains much of the state, particularly Sussex County.

Some analysts see the Florida case as politically motivated, but whatever the reasons, the governors of Oregon, Washington, New York, Virginia, and nearly all others except for Alaska and ME, demanded that their states be exempt, too.

"It was the case that [Sen.] Nelson was going to be better positioned to run on the offshore drilling issue", said MacManus.

The fishing and tourism industries are the backbone of our coastal economy.

More news: Gisele helps Tom Brady fight Father Time in new Facebook series
More news: Pac-12 basketball roundup: Sun Devils fall to Ducks
More news: Home and Away actress Jessica Falkholt dies after Boxing Day crash

"California is also "unique" & our 'coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver, '" California Attorney General Xavier Becerra tweeted.

"The waters off Maine's coast provide a healthy ecosystem for our state's fisheries and support a vigorous tourism industry, both of which support thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenue for ME each year", said a statement from Collins and Sen.

And the greatest pathway toward energy independence and a robust energy sector lies in the development of renewable sources and technologies whose generation doesn't degrade the environment and threaten important ME industries.

All this could be at risk.

The Trump administration should not have radically expanded territory for drilling in the first place.

The Trump administration exempted Florida from offshore oil and gas drilling, and that prompts a question - why Florida and not anywhere else?

"I don't know, maybe I have to buy Donald Trump a golf course in Washington or something to get him to protect us", Inslee said. The decision is simply stunning.

At a time when science says that to stabilize global climate two-thirds of all fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground, Trump is instead pushing a huge increase in fossil fuel production, onshore and offshore.

Fortunately, this is not the end of the story.

But one week later came the carve-out for Florida. "We shouldn't be playing politics with the future of Florida".