Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced last night Florida will be exempt from the Trump regime's coastal oil drilling program because Florida relies on coastal tourism.
In an official statement, Zinke said he is "removing Florida from consideration."
"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 coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver. As a result of discussion with Governor Scott's [sic] and his leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms."
Why Florida and not any number of other states that rely on tourism? Why not California?
Indeed, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra responded last night shortly after the news broke.
.@SecretaryZinke: California is also "unique" & our "coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver." Our “local and state voice” is firmly opposed to any and all offshore drilling.
If that's your standard, we, too, should be removed from your list. Immediately. https://t.co/T6W6JaPCPh
— Xavier Becerra (@AGBecerra) January 10, 2018
So did Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
Taking #Florida off the table for offshore drilling but not #California violates the legal standard of arbitrary and capricious agency action. California and other coastal states also rely on our beautiful coasts for tourism and our economy. I believe courts will strike this down https://t.co/xWyB69F7Gg
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 10, 2018
And so did North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
Is this thing on? I'll try again: Not Off Our Coast - RC https://t.co/egI6DJgi1g
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) January 10, 2018
Ryan Zinke may have thought he was pulling a fast one with this backdoor endorsement of Rick Scott's possible Senate bid, but he only played himself.
Federal courts on the west and east coasts and even the gulf coast are going to take one look at this and ask the same question we're all asking. Why Florida and no one else? Why not Washington? Why not Oregon? Why not New Jersey or New York? Virginia?
Is it because they're all run by Democrats now? If that is the case, Zinke's plans will be dead on arrival. I think they probably would have been anyway, but Zinke sealed the deal with this stunt.