Interior Secretary Zinke pulls Florida from plan for offshore oil drilling

And we all know that the defining characteristic of the Trump administration is that it's unfailingly honest.

California largely controls coastal waters up to three miles off the coast.

Florida Governor Rick Scott - a Republican - is against oil and gas exploration off his state's coast, and is planning a run for U.S. Senate.

But lawmakers in other states aren't happy about Florida being the only exempt state.

But within the lease sale area off the Washington and OR coasts, the estimated recoverable oil reserves are a modest 400 million barrels of crude, according to an Interior Department document released last week. "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.

"I support the governor's position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver", said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, per The Hill.

RYAN ZINKE: We are going to take the new oil platforms, new oil, gas platforms, off the table off the Florida coastlines.

"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. If the governor of a coastal state is opposed to such drilling out of concern that an oil spill would inflict serious harm to the state's tourism industry, the federal government is willing to back down.

Collier Commission joins Rooney, Nelson, Scott in opposing offshore drilling proposal

In an interview with the Sentinel, Randy Sturgill, a senior campaign organizer for the environmental group Oceana, called the plan "insane" and a "radical offshore free-for-all".

Carter, Isakson and several other Georgia Republicans signed onto House and Senate letters to Zinke last summer - when the administration's previous offshore leasing program was limited to the Gulf of Mexico and a small area off the coast of Alaska - encouraging him to "carefully review" other areas of the country "to ensure that opportunities are not missed".

Huckabee Sanders said that the "public comment" process was one in which "negotiations" would happen with state leadership. The plan was immediately met with bipartisan opposition on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Gov. Cooper requested a meeting with the Secretary to explain the critical threat drilling and seismic testing pose to North Carolina's coastal communities, economy and environment.

Inslee joins a growing list of governors (California, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia, and North and South Carolina) who are outraged by the offshore drilling expansion. "It doesn't matter to me whether you're Republican or Democrat".

Even under the existing plan, the Trump administration has announced it will offer for lease in March "all available unleased areas on the Gulf's Outer Continental Shelf", some 77 million acres across the entire Gulf, including waters off the Florida coast that had previously been protected. The Interior Department's five-year plan would open 90 percent of the nation's offshore oil reserves to development by private companies.

In a statement after the new offshore drilling plan was announced last week, Northam said the plan would jeopardize the Commonwealth's "economy, environment, national security, and the health and safety of our residents".

More news: Gas prices in area remain stable but should take seasonal slide

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