MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on Tuesday which extends an offshore drilling moratorium for Florida’s Gulf coast and Atlantic coasts and coasts of Georgia and South Carolina.
While speaking beside the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, President Trump announced the expansion of the ban on offshore drilling and also highlighted other environmental conservation projects in Florida.
The existing moratorium covers the Gulf of Mexico, and Trump says the new one will also cover the Atlantic coast — a significant political concern in coastal states like Florida.
“My administration’s proving every day that we can improve our environment while creating millions of high-paying jobs,” Trump said. He claimed that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s environmental plans would “destroy America’s middle class while giving a free pass to the world’s worst foreign polluters.
“Trump is the great environmentalist,” he added.
U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) released the following statement after President Trump announced the moratorium extension.
“Drilling off the shores of Florida is a non-starter—not worth the risk of endangering our environment, fishing, boating or tourism. President Trump’s plan to extend the moratorium is the right one, and it proves that our voices are being heard. We must never tolerate drilling near our beautiful coastline!”
Florida Sen, Rick Scott said in a statement that he applauds Trump’s decision.
“As Governor of Florida, I fought for and secured a commitment from this Administration to keep oil drilling off Florida’s coasts. I’ve had many conversations with the President and his Administration about the importance of keeping Florida’s coastlines pristine, and I’m glad the President is extending the moratorium on oil drilling for another 10 years. I applaud this announcement today, which is a result of the many conversations we have had over the years and is a huge win for Florida.”
Trump also discussed his call for additional funding for Everglades revitalization and addressed algae-causing run-off from Lake Okeechobee that has forced beach closures across the state.
Trump, though, has rolled back a host of regulations meant to protect the environment, including on power plant emissions, auto fuel standards and clean water. He withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, a global agreement meant to address the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wore a face mask to greet Trump, who did not wear a mask, after Air Force One landed at the West Palm Beach airport. Trump arrived in Jupiter by motorcade.
After leaving Florida, the president heads to a campaign rally in North Carolina.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)