Markey: Draft plan will spur 'huge fight' over offshore energy drilling

'Political Games': FL Sen Blasts Trump Admin for Promising GOP Gov Oil Drilling Exemption

A spokesperson for Nathan Deal said the Republican Georgia governor had "some concerns with opening up Georgia's pristine coastlines which he will convey to the congressional delegation".

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke now says Florida's Gulf and Atlantic coasts will be off-limits to drilling because the state is "obviously unique." . "As a result of today's discussion and Governor Scott's leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms".

The Florida Ocean Alliance estimates that coastal counties in the state drive 79% of its economy, with tourism and recreation accounting for the vast majority.

Governor Scott said "I am proud to announce that Secretary Zinke has agreed to remove Florida's coastline from consideration for future oil drilling".

Brown was on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 when Cooper asked her if she believed the removal of Florida from the proposal was strictly political.

Environmentalist group Oceana said it hopes the White House hears complaints from other states - that might not have a GOP chief executive like Scott. "But there's places where resources are sensitive, and there's places where we're not going to go forward with [drilling for oil] and one of them is off the coast of Florida".

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The statement prompted a flurry of responses from governors of other coastal states, who queried why Florida should be the only state spared from the possibility of a disastrous oil spill and other harm caused to the marine environment and communities that depend upon fishing or tourism.

Keating said a Nelson-Scott contest for a critical Senate seat in a state won by President Donald Trump would feature "highly-loaded" campaign coffers.

Zinke proposed vastly expanding offshore oil and natural gas drilling Thursday, stating most of the nation's outer continental shelf is being considered for drilling, including off the coasts of Maine, California, Florida and Alaska.

Many politicians are giving the credit to Governor Scott, like Congressman Neal Dunn, who said the decision is crucial to one of Bay County's military industry. Zinke said Tuesday that allow oil drilling would not be allowed off the coast of Florida. Scott, a Trump ally, is expected to challenge U.S. Sen. The issue is that Zinke apparently made the decision without following the procedures mandated by federal law, rather than waiting to make the announcement after a full public comment period and environmental impact study.

Sen. Nelson said he's filed new legislation to permanently ban drilling off of Florida's coast.

But in 2011, Scott walked his support of then-presidential candidate Michele Bachmann after the Minnesota Republican proposed drilling for oil in Florida's Everglades. After hearing about Florida's special treatment, South Carolina's Republican Gov. Henry McMaster said he's pressing the administration for an exemption from the plan for his state, the Star Telegram reported.

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