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Scott, Nelson Respond To Trump Admin's Lifting Of Rules, More Waters For Offshore Drilling

Deepwater Horizon drilling platform on fire in 2010.
US Coast Guard

Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Governor Rick Scott are in agreement: a plan to allow offshore oil drilling by President Donald Trump's administration isn't good for Florida, and it comes as Nelson is also asking the Trump administration to pull back from repealing safety regulations made in response to the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

At issue are what President Donald Trump’s administration says are onerous regulations on the oil industry which focus on safety and monitoring on offshore drilling platforms. The repeal is supported by oil and gas industries and Nelson argues it’s a giveaway to them.

He says it took six years to get the rules in place, “now the Trump interior department wants to pull a bait-and-switch reversing the safety measures and giving the public a mere 30 days to review a highly-technical rule.”

The Trump administration announced Thursday it would also allow offshore oil drilling in nearly all U.S. waters, including the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico. Nelson calls that, "an assault on Florida’s economy, our national security, the will of the public and the environment. This proposal defies all common sense and I will do everything I can to defeat it.”

Governor Rick Scott  was quoted in the New York Times saying he’s concerned about the move and is asking for a meeting with the Department of Interior to remove Florida from the plan.

And in a written statement, he says he's opposed to offshore oil drilling in Florida. 

"I have already asked to immediately meet with Secretary Zinke to discuss the concerns I have with this plan and the crucial need to remove Florida from consideration. My top priority is to ensure that Florida’s natural resources are protected, which is why I proposed $1.7 billion for the environment in this year’s budget.”

This comes as the state’s constitution revision commission is considering language to ban oil drilling off Florida’s coasts.