Tags: florida | offshore drilling | american petroleum institute

Oil Industry Execs Criticize Zinke for Excluding Florida Offshore Drilling

Image: Oil Industry Execs Criticize Zinke for Excluding Florida Offshore Drilling
This undated photo provided by the California State Lands Commission shows Platform Holly, an oil drilling rig in the Santa Barbara Channel offshore of the city of Goleta, California. (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 January 2018 06:24 PM

The decision to exempt near Florida from offshore drilling is "premature," American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said Wednesday, the Hill reports.

"The Gulf of Mexico is the backbone of our nation's offshore energy production and restricting access to the Eastern Gulf puts hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk across the country and along the Gulf Coast, particularly in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi," Gerard said a day after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made his announcement.

"Not only that, but securing reliable sources of energy helps fuel other industries like tourism, especially in states like Florida that relies on more than 200 million barrels of gasoline and diesel each year to fuel its economy."

Zinke's decision to change course came just five days after the Trump administration announced a five-year offshore drilling plan that would open 90 percent of the nation's offshore reserves to development by private companies. He said Tuesday Florida Gov. Rick Scott was the reason the change was made.

"As a result of discussion with Gov. Scott's [sic] and his leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platform," Zinke said in a statement.

Within hours of Zinke's announcement, governors in other coastal states asked to be exempt, too, including Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York.

The National Offshore Industries Association also criticized Zinke's move.

"Removing areas offshore Florida this early in the planning process prematurely curtails dialogue and thorough study of the possibilities for future development of offshore resources that could provide additional energy and jobs for working Floridians," Randall Luthi, the group's president, said in a statement according to the Hill.

"In addition, for a state whose tourism economy is dependent on a secure and affordable transportation fuel supply, failure to secure domestic production and supply of fuels actually is a greater economic risk than offshore development."

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The decision to exempt near Florida from offshore drilling is "premature," American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said Wednesday, the Hill reports.
florida, offshore drilling, american petroleum institute
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2018-24-10
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 06:24 PM
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