Florida Is Exempted From Coastal Drilling. Other States Ask, ‘Why Not Us?’


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“The governor’s obvious intervention on behalf of Florida offers him one thing he can brag about to voters for example of his relationship with the president,” stated Mac Stipanovich, a longtime Florida Republican strategist. “However the choice is, at a minimal, arbitrary. It seems to be on a whim. To the extent that the choice was not the results of a course of with testimony, deliberation — the choice that Florida’s coast is extra pristine and helpful than California’s coast appears to be simply on the request of Governor Scott. Why?”

On Wednesday, Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina, a Republican, introduced plans to just do that, saying that he intends to ask the Trump administration for a drilling exemption identical to Florida’s.

“New York doesn’t need drilling off our coast, both,” Andrew Cuomo, the state’s Democratic governor, stated on Twitter on Tuesday night time. “The place can we join a waiver?”


A petroleum platform off the California coast. The state’s lawyer normal has requested for an exemption from the drilling plan, citing Florida as a precedent.

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Robyn Beck/Agence France-Presse — Getty Pictures

The lawyer normal of California, Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, requested why the Trump administration deemed Florida’s shoreline helpful sufficient to protect, however not California’s.

“California can also be ‘distinctive’ & our ‘coasts are closely reliant on tourism as an financial driver,’” Mr. Becerra tweeted on Tuesday, quoting Mr. Zinke’s personal acknowledged causes for abruptly withdrawing Florida from the drilling plan. “Our ‘native and state voice’ is firmly against any and all offshore drilling,” he wrote. “If that’s your customary, we, too, ought to be eliminated out of your listing. Instantly.”

Hogan Gidley, the White Home deputy press secretary, stated it was within the nation’s finest curiosity “to unleash our power potential to its fullest.”

“The Secretary is at the moment within the technique of talking to stakeholders, like Governor Scott yesterday, to find out essentially the most accountable and environmentally sound path ahead,” Mr. Gidle stated, referring to Mr. Zinke. “All states have totally different considerations and wishes, which is why that is an ongoing course of with a built-in 60 day remark interval.”

The governors of New York, New Jersey, California and a number of other different states requested exclusion from the drilling plan final yr, whereas the plan was being drafted, citing the tourism worth of their coastlines.

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“The issue is that the request for exclusion got here from many of the East Coast states and the entire West Coast states, and but it was simply granted to Florida,” stated Sierra Weaver, an lawyer with the Southern Environmental Legislation Middle. “The issue is treating Florida otherwise from each different state that requested exclusion.”

Actually, Florida was not among the many states that had requested an exemption to the drilling plan. All through his political profession, Governor Scott has veered between supporting and opposing offshore drilling.

Authorized specialists stated they had been perplexed by Mr. Zinke’s transfer. “Nobody is aware of what the authorized implications are, as a result of this has by no means been finished earlier than,” Ms. Weaver stated.

She stated Mr. Zinke’s transfer might put the administration in battle with the provisions of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a legislation that lays out the requirements and procedures for figuring out which areas will probably be opened to offshore drilling.

“There’s imagined to be a 60-day public remark interval, an environmental-impact assertion,” Ms. Weaver stated. “It’s not clear what they did right here, and it’s not clear that they perceive that there’s a authorized course of that they should comply with.”

Correction: January 10, 2018

Due to an enhancing error, an earlier model of this text misspelled the title of the White Home deputy press secretary. He’s Hogan Gidley, not Gidle.

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