Trump moves to vastly expand offshore drilling, Scott wants Florida left out
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sources say the Trump administration is moving to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans, including opening up federal waters off the coast of California for the first time in more than three decades.
The new five-year drilling plan could also open new areas of oil and gas exploration off the East Coast in places from Georgia to Maine, where drilling has been blocked for decades.
The Interior Department is set to announce the plan Thursday. Two sources described the plan on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it before its release.
It's the most expansive offshore drilling proposal in decades and comes in response to President Donald Trump's executive order in April encouraging more drilling rights in federal waters.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has been a long-time supporter of Trump, opposes offshore drilling in Florida and wants it to be excluded from the potential drilling locations. He said in a statement released Thursday afternoon that he will meet with Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to express his concern.
“Based on media reports, it is likely that the Department of the Interior will consider Florida as a potential state for offshore oil drilling – which is something I oppose in Florida," Scott's statement said. "I have already asked to immediately meet with Secretary Zinke to discuss the concerns I have with this plan and the crucial need to remove Florida from consideration. My top priority is to ensure that Florida’s natural resources are protected, which is why I proposed $1.7 billion for the environment in this year’s budget.