Zinke said Scott's concerns about oil spills damaging Florida's beaches and tourism industry prompted the reversal. This week he announced he is removing Florida from consideration for any new offshore platforms, citing the pleas of Gov. Rick Scott that Florida is "unique" and "heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver". "If Trump is going to help any Republican governor opposed to drilling, it should be Christie, " Tittel said.
"As a result of our interest in making sure that there's no drilling here, Florida will be taken off the table, "Scott said January 9th, after meeting with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in Tallahassee".
Delaware's leaders, both in Dover and in Washington, strongly oppose drilling off our state's coast for exactly the same reason Florida's leaders do.
"Two days in, the Trump administration has shown us exactly what their offshore drilling proposal is all about and it has nothing to do with listening to local and state voices, economics, or science". We chose to measure whether Scott had shifted his position on our Flip-O-Meter.
The Trump Administration has also been busily undoing regulations enacted under President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the catastrophic BP Deepwater Horizon rig off the coast of Louisiana in 2010.
On his campaign website then, Scott called for more drilling offshore but said that the state's beaches must be protected.
The drilling proposal, announced last week, includes 47 potential lease sales in 25 of the 26 planning areas - 19 sales off the coast of Alaska, seven in the Pacific region, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, and nine in the Atlantic region. But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders denied the administration gave special treatment to Scott, a Republican and ally of President Donald Trump who is considered a likely Senate candidate later this year.
"I don't want your kids ever to fight on foreign shores for a resource we have here", he said.
The quick turnabout is seen as the Trump administration putting politics above policy - given that Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican friendly with the president, is reportedly gearing up for a run against Sen.
"Secretary Zinke flew to Florida, met with the governor of Florida for 20 minutes at the Tallahassee Airport, and suddenly announced that he has now made a decision to 'take Florida off the table.' Sounds like a political stunt", Sen.
The American Petroleum Institute, the top oil and gas lobbying group, also questioned Zinke's action but from the other direction.
But Scott was an early Trump supporter.
Andrew Cuomo, New York's Democratic governor, tweeted: "New York doesn't want drilling off our coast either".