The Trump administration will not permit offshore drilling off the Florida coast after encountering opposition from the state’s Governor, Rick Scott Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced on Tuesday.
“President Trump has directed me to rebuild our offshore oil and gas program in a manner that supports our national energy policy and also takes into consideration the local and state voice. I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver. As a result of discussion with Governor Scott’s and his leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms,” Zinke said in a statement Tuesday night. The statement came shortly after Zinke met with Scott to discuss offshore drilling.
Zinke announced a proposal on January 4 to open nearly the entirety of the Outer Continental Shelf for offshore drilling, in areas ranging from Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
But Scott, who is said to be weighing a run for Senate in 2018, had publicly voiced his opposition to using Florida as an offshore drilling site, and had requested the meeting with Zinke. “My top priority is to ensure Florida’s natural resources are protected, which is why I proposed $1.7 billion for the environment in this year’s budget,” Scott said in a statement the day Zinke announced his proposal.