Just days after publicizing his intention to open America’s coastlines for offshore drilling, President Trump reversed course. Florida’s white-sand beaches are safe, the entire state is now exempt from Trump’s plan.
It doesn’t look like he was motivated by environmental concerns. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who’s currently gunning for a Senate seat, vehemently opposes offshore drilling. At least he does now that he knows Florida voters hate the idea.
“I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement. “As a result of discussion with Governor (Rick) Scott and his leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms.”
California’s beaches are just as peopled by tourists as Florida’s. If tourism is now a reason against offshore drilling, it’s going to be hard to do it anywhere in America.
“Such a quick reversal begs the question: Will the Trump administration give equal consideration to all the other coastal governors from both parties who overwhelmingly reject this radical offshore drilling plan?” Oceana campaign director Diane Hoskins asked Tuesday.
Trump’s a politician, it’s not surprising that he’s motivated by political concerns. He needs a boost in the Senate, and it would be helpful if the seat Scott’s vying for doesn’t fall to a Democrat.
Still, now that he’s offered a concession to one state he may find it difficult to deny it to others.
“This a political stunt orchestrated by the Trump administration to help Rick Scott, who has wanted to drill off Florida’s coast his entire career… We shouldn’t be playing politics with the future of Florida,” Sen. Ben Nelson complained.
(Source: New York Post)