Abril 20, 2018

Florida politicians oppose Trump administration's move to expand offshore drilling

13 Enero 2018, 03:58 | Crisanna Felipe

Maureen Sullivan | Getty Images

Offshore drilling platform

Offshore drilling stocks, other oil and gas stocks and oil prices rose following the Trump news Thursday afternoon.

PRESIDENT Donald Trump's administration has revealed a plan to open nearly all USA offshore waters to oil and gas drilling. Interior's new five-year plan for drilling on the Continental Shelf represents one of the biggest expansions of drilling in years, opening up some areas that had been off-limits for decades.

The Trump administration called the rules an unnecessary burden on industry and said rolling them back will encourage more energy production.

Incoming Gov. Phil Murphy, who made opposing many of President Donald Trump's policies a cornerstone of his campaign, pledged Friday to help lead opposition to the president's plan to open almost the entire USA coastlines to drilling. In effect, these rollbacks pave the way for another such disaster.

The move is aimed at boosting domestic energy production, but has angered environmentalists and the tourism industry.

As Staff Writer James M. O'Neill reported, New Jersey officials - including Gov. Chris Christie - have long opposed drilling in the Atlantic because any potential spill like the one that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 would not only harm the environment, but place the state's estimated $700 billion in coastal properties at risk.

I have met these people.

But DeSantis' formal entrance into the race Friday sets up a battle for the Republican nomination -- a battle that could grow more intense if House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, gets in the race. In fact, if our earth was really that fragile, life would have been extinguished millions of years ago.Our planet has withstood several mass extinctions caused by various catastrophic incidents far more deadly than oil spills. Public efforts to ban drilling in these areas had been largely successful in recent decades due to public outrage after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, which devastated marine life and was the largest oil spill in United States history until the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

The new draft five-year plan includes 47 lease sales - the largest number in history - in waters off the entire West Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, the East Coast and Alaska.

The auctioning off of the remaining waters in the Gulf are in line with the administration's policy of rescinding environmental protections to clear the way for commercial interests. But the Florida Petroleum Council, an industry group, hailed the Trump administration move as a way to benefit Florida consumers by potentially creating jobs and additional government revenue while strengthening national security.

Perhaps this will change.

Once the draft proposed program is published in the Federal Register, a 60-day public comment period will follow.

Zinke also said in a news release Thursday that "responsibly developing our energy resources" is important to the USA economy and will help fund coastline conservation.

I hope he does.

Douglas Westwood's offshore oil and gas report predicted market recovery to start in early 2018. A similar proposal stalled a year ago.

"There are no oil rigs off Florida's coast, and as long as I'm around there will not be", Nelson said. They are getting involved now.

Previously protected territory in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska will now likely be the site of exploration and drilling.

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