(Mirror Daily, United States) – The Trump administration has just exempted Florida from an extended plan for gas and oil drilling. Other coastal states now wonder what makes the Sunshine State so special.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster noted that his state’s coastline is as beautiful and majestic as Florida’s. He noted that South Carolina cannot afford to take a chance with the Trump administration’s revamped offshore drilling plan. McMaster, a Republican, endorsed President Trump in the 2016 primaries.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned that the new plan would be paired with “unacceptable risks” to his state’s economy, coastal communities, and environment.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made the announcement that Florida will be exempted on Tuesday. The reaction coming from other coastal states created a round of fresh doubts about the future of the new drilling plan.
The decision could put at risk Republicans’ re-election prospects in the incoming midterm elections. Eleven coastal states have opposed the order, of which nine are preparing for gubernatorial races in 2018. What’s more, many districts in coastal areas are the most competitive ones in this year’s race for the House of Representatives.
Other States React to Zinke’s ‘Arbitrary’ Decision
On Wednesday, several state attorneys general urged Zinke to revise the decision as it doesn’t seem to have a reasonable rationale behind it. The decision to exempt Florida was described as “arbitrary and capricious”.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has been one of Trump’s longtime political allies. The president himself had personally asked Scott to run for the U.S. Senate. Other states, however, don’t believe Florida’s coastlines are unique. They believe the decision was politically motivated.
Gov. Scott’s office said the governor had not spoken to the President about the issue, but he did inform Zinke about his concerns on Tuesday in a face-to-face meeting. Zinke confirmed the meeting, but added he is willing to discuss the issue with every governor.
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