TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/CNN) – Governor Rick Scott, an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, has come out against his administrations plan to roll back a ban on offshore drilling.
Scott took to Twitter to post his concerns.
Governor Scott’s Statement on Trump Administration’s Plan on Offshore Oil Drilling: pic.twitter.com/iQqNU9afsQ
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) January 4, 2018
Shortly after, the state’s Democratic Party called the governor out on his stance as less than honest. They said Scott has profited from oil drilling near the Everglades and has consistently supported offshore drilling.
“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,” according to their statement.
During Thursday’s White House press briefing, press secretary Sarah Sanders said: “Our goal isn’t to cross Governor Scott.” She added that the administration hopes to work with the governor on the issue.
The administration plan is to roll back a ban on new offshore drilling off the coasts of Florida and California, they’re also considering more than 40 sites for the leasing of natural gas and oil production.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said that 47 proposed leasing areas could increase federal revenue by $15 billion.
“It’s better to produce energy here and never be held hostage by foreign enemy needs,” Zinke said, adding it’s a “clear difference between energy weakness and energy dominance.”
The proposal would increase drilling sites off the coasts of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico. It would reinstate leasing sites in Pacific and Atlantic waters.
Gov. Scott wants waters off of Florida’s coastline removed from consideration.
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a long-time opponent of allowing oil rigs too close to Florida’s coast, also slammed the Trump administration’s plan.
“This plan is an assault on Florida’s economy, our national security, the will of the public and the environment. This proposal defies all common sense and I will do everything I can to defeat it,” he said in a statement.
Zinke, who said he anticipated strong pushback, said the five-year-proposal would not move forward without state, community and congressional feedback, but refused to say that states would have the power to veto drilling off their own shores.
“Certainly states and local communities have a voice and Scott’s been a great governor,” Zinke said. “This is what’s available. We’re going to listen to the voices of all the stakeholders. … This is going to be a dialogue of states and Interior and all the stakeholders.”
Lawmakers from New Jersey and Pennsylvania also voiced concerns about the effects on tourism and coastal economies.
Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, tweeted, “Offshore drilling has caused some of the greatest man-made natural disasters of our time.”
Environmental groups call the plan “dirty” and “dangerous.”
“The administration’s backward-looking approach puts oil and gas profits first — and will place our coastal communities and all they support at risk of the next BP-style disaster,” said Natural Resources Defense Council President Rhea Suh.
In December, Interior issued a stop-work order on a National Academy of Sciences study reviewing the offshore oil and gas operations inspection program to enhance safety.
Zinke repeatedly said Thursday that any offshore drilling lease will come with the condition of safety.
“We will deepen commitment to environmental stewardship because we do it right,” he said.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce praised the move in a statement, saying it “would help cement America’s role as an energy superpower, creating jobs and contributing to our economy.”
“For decades, our nation has needlessly limited our own ability to harness oil and gas resources. This new plan sets a much different course,” the Chamber said.
(©2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)