After facing significant bipartisan push back from Florida’s entire congressional delegation over potentially allowing drilling off the coast of Florida, President Donald Trump announced that he would be extending the oil drilling moratorium along the “gulf coast and expanding it to Florida’s Atlantic coast.”
Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio led the charge in trying to persuade President Trump to ensure Floridians the drilling off of the state’s coastline was off the table.
Moments after the president signed his executive order to extend the moratorium, Sen. Scott tweeted “after many conversations” with the president on “the importance of keeping FL’s coastline pristine,” the he “extended the moratorium for another 10 years.”
Rep. Brian Mast (R) stated that it wasn’t “worth the risk of endangering” the environment.
“Drilling off the shores of Florida is a non-starter—not worth the risk of endangering our environment, fishing, boating, or tourism,” stated Rep. Mast President Trump’s plan to extend the moratorium is the right one, and it proves that our voices are being heard. We must never tolerate drilling near our beautiful coastline!”
“This is kind of leadership we appreciate in Florida as we work to protect our state’s uniquely sensitive environment and economy,” stated Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R)
Florida Democrats had a different take on the announcement.
Freshman Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) called Trump’s executive edict “self-serving and weak” after questioning why the president just won’t sign a “bipartisan law to ban drilling.”
“Why sign an executive order (that can be reversed) when you can pass a bipartisan law to ban drilling off Florida's shores?” I don't trust Trump, esp. when we've already seen his plan for offshore drilling starting after the election. This is temporary, self-serving and weak,” tweeted Rep. Mucarsel-Powell
The oceans advocacy group, Oceana Action put out this statement from its Campaign Director Diane Hoskins, critcizing the president's oil drilling address as being nothing more than a political stunt.
“Offshore oil drilling is dirty and dangerous and Trump's message sounds more like political speech than a move toward permanent protection," stated Hoskins These coasts do need real protections and we hope the president formally withdraws his current proposal otherwise, it’s hard to see how this statement has any benefit to coastal economies.”