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Trump’s Latest Attack on Florida’s Economy: Green-lighting Offshore Drilling

Today, POLITICO reported that the Trump administration is preparing to allow oil and gas drilling along Florida’s coastline — a decision that is expected to be so unpopular that they “will wait until after the November election to avoid blowback in a swing state whose waters both parties have long considered sacrosanct.”

In response Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo released the following statement:

“Simply put, this is outrageous, but not a surprise. There is no promise to voters Donald Trump won’t break to help his buddies in big business. Florida’s tourism industry has already been absolutely devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis worsened by Trump’s ineptitude, and allowing offshore drilling would further threaten our economy.

“Protecting our precious environment, the bedrock of millions of livelihoods in Florida, should not be a partisan issue, and I hope to see Florida Republicans stand up to Trump and urge the administration to abandon this plan. For our environment, our jobs, and our way of life in Florida, we need to elect Joe Biden in November.”

Trump’s Broken Promises on Offshore Drilling:

PROMISE: “Trump Administration Bars Oil Drilling Off Florida After Governor’s Plea” [Reuters, 1/9/18]

REALITY: POLITICO: “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. 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]

REALITY: POLITICO: “The Trump administration is preparing to open the door to oil and gas drilling off Florida’s coast — but will wait until after the November election to avoid blowback in a swing state whose waters both parties have long considered sacrosanct, according to four people familiar with the plan.” [Politico, 6.10.20]

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