Ahead of Trump’s campaign relaunch, the Florida Democratic Party is previewing his track record of broken promises. Today’s focus is on how Trump broke his word about protecting Florida’s shores from drilling.
On June 18, Donald Trump heads to the Sunshine State to salvage a disastrous record –– but Florida voters will hold him accountable for his record on the environment. He’s prioritized corporate polluters and relentlessly rolled back environmental protections, which threatens Florida’s natural resources, public lands, and economy.
One of Trump’s most significant broken promises is preparing to allow drilling near Florida’s shores and beaches –– a move that even Republicans warn “could cost the president dearly in Florida in the 2020 election.”
Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, stated: “Donald Trump’s backdoor plans to expand oil drilling near our coasts would destroy both our economy and our environment. It is another example of Trump’s numerous broken promises and lies. But, Trump can’t weasel out of this one. If Trump attempts to auction off Florida’s coast, he will feel the wrath of Florida voters at the ballot box.”
Publicly, the Trump administration proclaimed Florida was off the table for offshore oil and gas drilling: “‘I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver,’ Mr. Zinke said in a statement after meeting Governor Scott in Florida. ‘I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms.'” [New York Times, 1/9/18]
Behind closed doors, the Trump administration continued crafting plans to auction off Florida’s shores to the highest bidder: “The Trump administration is considering auctioning off Florida’s coastal waters for oil and gas drilling — and Republicans are warning it could cost the president dearly in Florida in the 2020 election […] An industry lobbying offensive has put it on the cusp of achieving its holy grail: access to the resource-rich eastern Gulf of Mexico. The idea is so politically toxic in Florida that past presidents haven’t even entertained it. But behind the scenes, oil and gas interests are appealing to Trump’s desire to turbocharge U.S. energy production, including his past openness to drilling off the Florida coast.” [Politico, 4/10/19]
The Trump administration’s promise to exempt Florida from offshore drilling was nothing more than an election year ploy to boost a Trump ally: “‘What happened was Zinke went down there, and essentially gave Rick Scott a political favor,’ Colman said. ‘Scott was campaigning against Bill Nelson for the Senate and Nelson had made the environment an issue.’ But despite Zinke’s announcement, it was never made official that Florida would be excluded from efforts to expand the search for fossil fuels.” [WLRN, 4/14/19]