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White House: Flip-flop on Florida offshore drilling not a 'political favor'

White House: Flip-flop on Florida offshore drilling not a 'political favor'

"They've set the precedent in Florida and we'll try to get" the exemption, Brown told a press conference Wednesday, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Governors and other officials from several USA coastal states ramped up pressure on the Trump administration on Wednesday to exempt their waters from an offshore drilling plan, hours after the Interior Department granted Florida's request to opt out.

And then on Tuesday night, January 9, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that the waters off the Florida coast will be excluded from the new plan after he met with Florida Gov. Rick Scott at the Tallahassee International Airport. That includes Georgia's roughly 100 miles of coastline.

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

Moriarty said bureau regulations say that if a lease is issued for a specific use, including wind or oil drilling, "we may consider a request for other uses, as long as those uses do not unreasonably interfere with the original leaseholder's enjoyment of its lease".

From Oregon to SC, governors and other leaders are publicly noting that Florida does not have a monopoly on picturesque coasts, tourist economies or local opposition to offshore drilling.

The governors of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Oregon and Washington all have opposed offshore drilling plans. He has promised to meet with all coastal governors on the plan, but has not yet removed any other state from consideration.

The Republican governor is close friends with President Trump, so it was rare to see Scott criticize the administration's drilling expansion plans.

Deal's office declined to comment further on the possibility of seeking a reprieve.

Scott called the meeting with Zinke "historic" and thanked him for reversing the decision.

Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman, whose beachside town was ravaged by storms previous year, joined the chorus of local officials who urged Deal to appeal to Trump's White House for an exemption. If it did, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia would not be a part of this plan.

"It's another idea with big business in mind", he said.

When asked if he will push for a waiver from the Trump administration, McMaster said, "I will be taking appropriate steps and there will be more news later". In 2010, the Deepwater blowout fouled more than 1,000 miles of coast in one of the worst environmental catastrophes in history.

"The secretary has said since day one that he is interested in hearing the local voice", she said. She also noted that a decision about oil and gas drilling has not been finalized.

Some supporters say the potential economic development benefits outweigh the costs.

While the drilling will continue off the coasts of many southern states, local officials said the distance decreases the chances of affecting Florida waters. The White House has made it clear in other ways -- including with public praise from the President - that Scott is a priority for them.

"There's a lot of due diligence to do", Republican U.S. Sen.

Elected officials from Florida to ME oppose opening up our oceans to the dangers of oil and gas drilling, yet here we see the Administration ignoring those concerns and proposing another massive give-away to the oil and gas industry.

"The question is, is there anything out there?"

"We're certainly going to ask for that".

"I don't want your kids ever to fight on foreign shores for a resource we have here", Zinke said.

Zinke said after a brief meeting with Scott at the Tallahassee airport Tuesday that drilling in Florida waters would be "off the table", despite a plan that proposed drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean off Florida.

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