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Eight Years Since Deepwater Horizen, Rick Scott Supported Drilling Even After Disaster

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Rick Scott supported drilling off Florida's coasts even after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, 2010, tragically killing 11 crewmembers and causing one of the largest oil spills in United States history. This anniversary is a reminder of Rick Scott’s dangerous environmental record including his support of offshore drilling, him gutting agencies that oversee the environment, and even prohibiting staff from using the words “climate change.” Just this week, a group of Florida students sued Scott for refusing to acknowledge climate change.

On the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploding, Florida Democratic Party spokesman Sebastian Kitchen released the following statement:

“Rick Scott has led an eight-year assault on the environment including supporting drilling in Florida waters even after the Deepwater Horizon explosion spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico – contaminating one of Florida’s greatest natural resources. Rick Scott’s political stunts do not change his repeated attacks on the environment and him advocating for drilling even after this spill damaged the environment, the tourism industry and the economy in coastal communities. Rick Scott is looking out for himself and his donors – not Florida’s water, beaches, wildlife and tourism industry.”

Some key information to remember when considering Rick Scott’s dangerous policies on the environment and oil drilling include:

PolitiFact rated Rick Scott a full flip flop for repeatedly changing his position on drilling.

Sun Sentinel Editorial: Gov. Rick Scott should listen to students on climate change

  • “Florida’s children are tired of waiting for grownups to take action on climate change, and that includes Gov. Rick Scott.”
  • “The courts — including the court of public opinion — should hold climate-change-deniers, like Scott, accountable for failing to address the epic threat facing those of us at Ground Zero.”
  • “During his two terms in Tallahassee, Gov. Scott has done nothing to address the problem.”
  • “He reportedly prohibited his staff from using the words ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ and ‘sustainability.’”
  • “A state with more than 1,300 miles of shoreline can’t afford to ignore the threat of sea level rise, which is caused by a warming climate.”

The Gainesville Sun Editorial: Young people fighting for better future

“It shouldn’t take children to force adults to get serious about climate change. Sadly that is the situation in Florida, where the governor and other state officials refuse to acknowledge climate change is a major problem — much less do something about it.”
“After Scott spent much of his two terms as governor weakening environmental regulations and the state agencies charged with enforcing them, he is now pretending to be an environmentalist as he runs for the U.S. Senate.”

Sun Sentinel Editorial: Trump, Gov. Rick Scott too slippery on oil drilling

  • “The choreography was designed to help Scott look good for a challenge to Nelson this year, which Scott announced Monday.”
  • “Whatever Rick needs,” a Republican source told Politico in January, the Trump administration “will do.” The result will be “a big win, and it won’t be Bill Nelson bringing it home.”
  • “Twice as a candidate in 2010 Scott favored expanded drilling.”
  • “Yet Politico’s reporting only reinforces the perception that this ‘commitment’ won’t last past the November election.”
  • “If you think that President Trump and Gov. Scott are playing election-year politics with drilling, you’re right.”

Huffington Post: Rick Scott’s Early Gift From Trump Team May Create More Problems Than It’s Worth

  • “The trip, which POLITICO Florida revealed was orchestrated well in advance, seemed aimed at helping Scott garner support among environmentalists and boosting his chances against Nelson in November.”
  • “But at a Senate hearing in March, Zinke walked back his initial comments on Florida, saying ‘Florida is still in the process.’ And last week, at an offshore wind energy forum in New Jersey, he told The Associated Press that ‘no one was exempted.’”
  • “Scott — who rejects the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by humans and as governor slashed the budget of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection — has apparently realized that environmental issues could play big in the Senate election.”

Politico: Hatch Act complaint against Zinke follows Scott's Senate announcement

  • "‘Hours of government time and resources were spent on this event by Secretary Zinke and his staff, all 'choreographed' to help Governor Scott in his campaign for U.S. Senate,’ Woodhouse wrote.”
  • “A review by POLITICO in March of more than 1,200 records showed that top officials from the offices of both Scott and the Interior secretary were in regular contact for several days leading up to the sudden announcement, contradicting the supposed spontaneous event that portrayed Scott as protecting Florida's environment.”
  • "This is a political stunt orchestrated by the Trump administration to help Rick Scott, who has wanted to drill off Florida's coast his entire career," Nelson said. "We shouldn’t be playing politics with the future of Florida.”