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Just The Facts: Governor Scott’s Long Record of Supporting Dangerous Oil Drilling Off Florida’s Shores & Beaches

Just The Facts: Governor Scott’s Long Record of Supporting Dangerous Oil Drilling Off Florida’s Shores & Beaches
Governor Scott has profited from oil drilling near the Everglades and he has consistently supported offshore drilling — even being critical of a proposed 7-year ban of offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that destroyed Florida’s beaches and ecosystems. And to make matters worse, Rick Scott stayed silent last week when Donald Trump eliminated safety regulations created after the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Statement from the Florida Democratic Party on Gov. Scott’s Clumsy Attempt to Rewrite History in a Tweet:
“Just like Donald Trump, Governor Scott is trying to rewrite his long anti-environment record with a tweet. Scott has consistently called for more offshore drilling, opposes ending drilling for oil in the Everglades and has significant investments in oil companies that are currently drilling near the Everglades. He opposed President Obama’s plan to ban drilling off the Eastern Gulf for seven years, even in the months after the Deepwater Horizon spill. His tweet is nothing more than Scott’s typical, self-serving politics and the people of Florida will see right through his lie.”
December 2010: Scott Opposed Moratorium On Offshore Drilling. ‘Scott gave us an opening to use our Flip-O-Meter when the issue of oil drilling came up on Dec. 2, 2010, during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. ‘We need to become energy independent. We can’t do drilling until we do it safely,’ Scott said. But, ‘you don’t put in a moratorium. Let’s figure out how we can do it safely because we cannot afford to mess up our beaches or our economy. But I believe (with) the ingenuity of Americans, we will come up with a way to do that.’’ [PolitiFact, 12/2/10]
2011: Scott Said He Supported Offshore Drilling, Disagreed With Obama Administration To Ban Most Drilling In Eastern Gulf For Seven Years. ‘Scott has said he supports offshore drilling if proper safeguards can be guaranteed. During his campaign for governor, Scott said he agreed with a moratorium on drilling put in place after the spill by President Barack Obama. But later in December, Scott was critical of a broader decision by the administration to ban most drilling in the eastern Gulf for seven years.’ [North Escambia, 1/16/11]
Months After Deepwater Horizon Spill, Scott Refused To Support Ban On Drilling. ‘In the months following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the topic of drilling was on the minds of Floridians. During his first campaign, Scott refused to support a ban on drilling, saying he would support drilling it if there was a safe way to do it.’ [Naples Daily News, 9/28/14]
AP: Scott Joined With Michelle Bachman, Said “He Could Support Drilling In Florida’s Everglades.: ‘Gov. Rick Scott is joining with presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and says he could support drilling in Florida’s Everglades. Scott said Tuesday he could support a cautious expansion of oil drilling in the famed swamp known as the River of Grass… Scott’s endorsement of possible drilling in the Everglades puts him at odds with other Florida politicians, including Republicans such as U.S. Rep. Allen West. West questioned Bachmann’s comments during a town hall gathering last month.’ [Associated Press, 9/6/11]
Scott Issued Clarification Hours Later, Claimed He Did Not Mean An Expansion Of Drilling In The Everglades. ‘Gov. Rick Scott found himself on both sides of the fence Tuesday when he told a Tallahassee audience that he supports oil drilling in the Everglades, then hours later issued a clarification that he didn’t mean ‘an expansion of drilling.’’ [Tampa Bay Times, 9/6/11]
Scott Noted Most Floridians Would Be Shocked To Learn Drilling Was Already Occurring In The Everglades. ‘Scott’s remarks to the Economics Club of Florida were prompted by an audience member who asked whether the governor agreed with Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann’s call last week for oil drilling in the Everglades for ‘additional energy.’ ‘You know we already have drilling in the Everglades. We already have oil wells in the Everglades,’ Scott replied. ‘There’s a road in Naples called ‘Oil Well Road,’ so we already have oil drilling. We’ve had it since 1943.’ He noted that most Floridians are ‘very shocked’ to learn that drilling is happening in Florida. He added that ‘I think we have to be very cautious if there’s going to be any more drilling.’ [Tampa Bay Times, 9/6/11]
April 2017: Trump Signed Executive Order To Open Up More Oil Drilling. ‘President Trump this morning signed an executive order that could open up more oil drilling, setting up a confrontation with Florida politicians. The ‘America First Offshore Energy Strategy’ calls for a review of drilling in the outer continental shelf. President Obama before leaving office put into place restrictions that closed off areas in the Arctic and Atlantic as well as the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.’ [Miami Herald, 4/28/17]
Tampa Bay Times Headline: “Rick Scott, Marco Rubio Avoid Comment On Trump’s Oil Drilling Push.” [Tampa Bay Times, 5/2/17]
Tampa Bay Times: Scott “Noticeably Quiet” On Trump
Administration’s Renewed Push For Offshore Oil Drilling. ‘Democratic and Republican politicians in Florida have expressed concern about the Trump administration’s renewed push for offshore oil drilling, but two high-profile figures are noticeably quiet. ‘I haven’t seen his proposal,’ Gov. Rick Scott told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday, declining to say more on the issue.’ [Tampa Bay Times, 5/2/17]
Scott Refused To Join A Bipartisan Group Of East Coast Governors In Fighting Against Trump Administration Plan To Open Atlantic Coast To Offshore Gas And Oil Drilling. “North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is urging federal regulators to continue the current ban on oil and gas drilling off his state’s coast, joining Republican and Democratic governors in East Coast states who don’t want the Atlantic included in the government’s next five-year drilling plan. All governors in the mid-Atlantic region for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)—a region which along with North Carolina includes Maryland, Virginia and Delaware—have said they oppose Atlantic drilling. …Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) have not expressed a position, and their spokesmen did not respond to Bloomberg BNA’s requests for information.” [Bloomberg, 8/21/17]
Scott opposes a moratorium on drilling in the Everglades; has major investment in firm that is drilling in Collier County, Florida, near the Everglades. “Gov. Rick Scott’s six-figure stake in a French energy company is angering environmentalists because the firm is involved in oil drilling in Collier County, near the Everglades. Scott and the Cabinet oversee the Department of Environmental Protection, which regulates oil drilling in Florida, and Scott has invested in businesses that could be regulated by DEP and other state agencies. Asked if he supports drilling in a county where he owns a $9.2 million home, Scott did not directly answer.” [Miami Herald, 6/15/2014]

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