What a coincidence that the Trump administration decided to reverse course on new offshore drilling only near the state where his resort is located.
The Trump administration is already attempting to backpedal a bit on a recent controversial announcement to upend a ban put in place by President Barack Obama and allow new offshore oil and gas drilling around much of the coastal United States.
But interestingly, the reversal of course thus far only includes waters around the state of Florida otherwise known as the home of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s explanation for the removal of Florida from the drilling plans insisted that the change was due to “[Florida] Governor [Rick] Scott’s leadership through hurricane season” and a desire to “[take] 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,” Zinke continued.
It’s nice that Trump and Zinke want to listen to the concerns of a state government over the damage expanded drilling operations could cause.
But it’s notable that, thus far, the only “local and state voice” that the Trump administration seems keen to listen to is from a Republican governor in a state where Trump properties have such a strong presence.
Further, as The New York Times noted, “The governors of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Oregon and Washington have all opposed offshore drilling plans.”
And California Attorney General Xavier Becerra pointed out that his state is not exactly low on the list of unique tourist destinations:
.@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
California Gov. Jerry Brown slammed Trump’s proposal to expand drilling off his state’s coast as “reckless” and “short-sighted” particularly considering the horrific history of oil drilling disasters off California’s coastline.
The dangers involved with offshore drilling would impact any location equally.
But to the Trump administration, potential damage to a friendly state where the Trump brand rakes in so much cash apparently takes precedence over any other state’s concerns.