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Florida is off the list for offshore drilling, but not everyone's happy

15 January 2018

A Democratic senator says the Trump administration may have violated federal law by exempting Florida from a national plan to expand offshore drilling.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced the next step for responsibly developing the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024, which proposes to make over 90 percent of the total OCS acreage and more than 98 percent of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in federal offshore areas available to consider for future exploration and development. Offshore drilling is a lose-lose proposition, and the entire proposed 5-year offshore oil lease plan should be withdrawn.

Zinke's action is especially outrageous because Florida — unlike California, Washington and other states — did not expressly oppose the drilling proposal in written comments submitted to the Interior Department, Cantwell said. "This a big day for our state, to get the Secretary of Interior not to do offshore drilling". Zinke said he felt a personal connection with the governor, so when Scott contacted him in writing he felt an obligation to respond.

That's the same Rick Scott who banned his state's employees from using the term "climate change", which is ironic because climate change will be the long-term result of the USA drilling and using more oil, causing sea level rises that will inundate more of Florida.

"Creating a five-year (drilling) program is a very open and public process, and Secretary Zinke looks forward to meeting with governors and other coastal representatives who want to discuss the draft program", said spokeswoman Heather Swift.

"We stand to lose too much if there's an accident with our tourism industry", Benson said.

"What can I think otherwise?" "But there's places where resources are sensitive, and there's places where we're not going to go forward with [drilling for oil] and one of them is off the coast of Florida".

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"New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either".

Inslee and his office wrote to the Trump administration in August and again last week, and both called and sent a letter to Zinke Thursday, he told CNN, but he has not gotten any response.

The governors of Delaware, North Carolina and SC on Tuesday were seeking meetings with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to press their case that drilling would pose significant risks to coastal tourism, while other state representatives issued sharply worded tweets.

The administration's decision on Tuesday removes from consideration a portion of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, an area that oil drillers have said they are interested in exploring - but not all of it. "Had Zinke cared about the wishes of coastal communities or how drilling off their coasts will affect them, he would have proposed a plan that shrinks drilling even further, not proposed expanding operations to almost every corner of our waters". New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and new Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam took their case to Twitter. Apparently, Zinke was unmoved by these pleas; lawmakers from the states said they didn't hear back.

Delegate Mary Beth Carozza (R-38C) said that if this is the same proposal that had circulated in the past, she opposes it.

Sheik Zaki Yamani, former Saudi Arabian oil minister, once said: "The Stone Age did not end for lack of stones, and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil".

Florida is off the list for offshore drilling, but not everyone's happy