Trump Wants To Drill Off FL Coast But Not Until After Election To Avoid Blowback
The Orlando Sentinel reports that President Donald J. Trump’s administration is preparing to push forward new plans that open up oil and gas drilling off the Florida coast but will most likely wait until after the November 2020 election to do so.
- POLITICO originally reported the story, citing “one person who has had recent discussions with Interior officials about the issue and who agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.”
- POLITICO’s anonymous source said, “Whatever is decided is expected to come out within two to three weeks of the election.”
- The Sentinel explains that officials in both the Republican and Democratic parties have long opposed prior plans to drill in Florida’s waters.
- For example, the Pensacola News Journal reported in April, 2019 that Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), a “staunch Trump ally,” said that Florida is “just not a state for” offshore drilling.” He said, “Our entire state is coastline. You have a mishap; it has a cascading effect. Whatever jobs would be created (by drilling) could be undercut by chilling tourism.”
- In response to the original POLITICO article, DeSantis spokesperson Helen Ferre said, “Governor DeSantis has made clear his opposition to drilling off the coast of Florida.”
- Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott (both R-FL) together sponsored a bill to extend a moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has not called the legislation up for debate.
- One person who works in the energy industry and spoke on the condition of anonymity told POLITICO that he heard from Department of the Interior officials that the offshore drilling plan would be released after the November 2020 election before January 2021.
The same anonymous energy industry source also said,
It’s a given that new acreage will become available when the politics of reelection are behind [Trump].
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