Coastal States Protest Trump's Offshore Drilling Plan

Republicans and Democrats in Florida found something they can agree on they're against offshore oil drilling on the Florida Gulf coast

Meeting with members of the media in Washington on January 9, Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, lauded the Trump Administration for its "courage" and "foresight" in producing the expanded offshore drilling plan. The plan could open up federal waters off the California coast for the first time in more than three decades.

"There are multiple uses of the outer continental shelf, and one form of energy development does not take precedence over another", Moriarty said.

That conversation led to his decision to remove "Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms", Zinke announced Tuesday evening.

The Trump administration will take public comment on its proposals from January 16 through March 9.

But taking Florida off the table sparked even more backlash from almost all other coastal states along the Pacific and the Atlantic, with governors and representatives demanding the states they represent be exempt, too. If the risk is too great for Florida, it is equally so for other states.

"This is something that all Californians are against." said Jennifer Savage, California Policy Manager for the Surfrider Foundation.

An Interior Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how the department would address the requests.

"I support the governor's position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver", Zinke said in a statement.

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"The Administrative Procedure Act requires there to be a reasonable rationale behind agency decisions, and that they can't be arbitrary and capricious", said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, referring to a 1946 law governing major regulatory changes. The decision to exclude Florida also has prompted other coastal states to ask the Trump administration for equal treatment. States such as California also have some power to thwart Zinke's program.

"I will never stop fighting for Florida's environment and our pristine coastline", Scott said Tuesday.

Huckabee Sanders said that the "public comment" process was one in which "negotiations" would happen with state leadership. "It is important that Interior complies with all the legal procedures and requirements for putting together" a drilling program on the Outer Continental Shelf, Porter said.

Democratic governors along both coasts unanimously oppose coastal drilling, as have a number of Republican governors, including Maryland's Gov. Larry Hogan, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Gov. Charles Baker of MA.

"Is it because the governor of Florida is a Republican and the Virginia governor and governor-elect are Democrats?"

Republican governors including Maryland's Larry Hogan and South Carolina's Henry McMaster have balked at offshore drilling, while the practice is anathema in Democratic-leaning California and northeastern states. "It doesn't matter to me whether you're Republican or Democrat".

In announcing the offshore oil drilling plan last week, Zinke said it was meant to make the U.S. The move was widely anticipated, at least since Ryan Zinke, a Montana congressman, climate change skeptic, and oil pipeline company board member, was appointed secretary of the interior previous year.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said in a statement Wednesday that the drilling "would have been disastrous to Florida's economy, the environment, and, most importantly, to the readiness of America's armed forces".

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