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Strong Opposition Leads Trump Administration to Drop Florida From Offshore Drilling Plan

Source: The New York Times/Hiroko Tabuchi - January 11, 2018 in Politics

Strong Opposition Leads Trump Administration to Drop Florida From Offshore Drilling Plan
Photo: Olav Gjerstad/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

The Trump administration said Tuesday it had ruled out drilling for oil and gas off the coast of Florida after strong opposition from the state’s Republican governor, Rick Scott.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke moved last week to allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States coastal waters, opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to potential leases. The decision prompted an outcry from Republican and Democratic governors alike on both coasts.

“I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver,” Mr. Zinke said in a statement after meeting Governor Scott in Florida. “I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms.”

Mr. Zinke’s reversal underscored the deep unpopularity of a plan that would undo one of the environmental legacies of the Obama administration. But the administration’s proposal is also a signal that President Trump is not done rolling back environmental restrictions to bolster domestic energy production.

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