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Trump administration removes Florida from offshore oil and gas drilling plan

EBR Staff Writer Published 10 January 2018

The Trump administration has decided to exclude Florida’s coastline from the recently announced offshore oil and gas drilling program.

The decision to reverse plans to include Florida in an offshore drilling proposal announced last week by the US Department of Interior (DOI) follows a request made by Governor Scott to US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Scott and Zinke held a private meeting to discuss the governor’s concerns with the federal oil drilling plan and the need to remove Florida’s coastline from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms.

Recently, the DOI has announced a Draft Proposed Program (DPP) to include nearly the entire US Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for potential oil and gas lease sales for future exploration and development from 2019 to 2024.

The National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) would include over 90% of the total OCS acreage and more than 98% of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in federal offshore areas.

The proposed program comprises 47 potential lease sales in 25 of the 26 planning areas. These include 19 lease sales off the coast of Alaska, seven in the Pacific Region, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, and nine in the Atlantic Region.

Scott said: “By removing Florida from consideration, we can now focus on how we can further protect our environment, including our proposal for record funding for the Everglades, our springs, our beaches and our state parks.”

Zinke said: “President Trump has directed me to rebuild our offshore oil and gas program in a manner that supports our national energy policy and also takes into consideration the local and state voice.

“I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coast is heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.”