But now, suddenly, Secretary Zinke announces plans to drill off Florida's coast and (five) days later agrees to "take Florida off the table"? "This offshore drilling proposal is a serious threat to one of our state's greatest assets, and we will continue to fight this proposal as long as it takes". Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), a longtime opponent of offshore drilling.
Zinke's announcement, made after a meeting with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a potential challenger to Nelson's seat, was met with outrage by leaders from states not in the Trump column during the 2016 race. Yet the alternative - that this spectacle was not planned but just as rushed and arbitrary as it seemed - is hardly better. The Trump Administration denies that Florida received a special exemption because President Trump owns property along the state's coastline. "Secretary Zinke agreed with concerns about the economic risks that offshore drilling could bring to OR and committed to work with the governor". "Local voice matters", he insisted. If it is safe off the coast of SC, why is it not safe in Florida.
Governors and legal experts say that the drilling plan could be struck down if Zinke does not provide the same consideration to other states as he did to Florida.
In addition to Harris, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Chris Coons (D-DE), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
"California is also "unique" & our 'coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver, ' " California Attorney General Xavier Becerra tweeted.
Awkward: Trump praises Martin Luther King, Jr. after his racist comments
Narkewicz, who said he has Haitian family members , called Trump's comments "despicable" over Twitter early Friday morning. Orinn Hatch wrote in part, "I look forward to getting a more detailed explanation regarding the president's comments".
"We urge you to honor the commitment of this Administration by listening to the local and state voices that we represent and to respect their overwhelming opposition to oil and gas drilling off our coasts". South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has also requested that his state be withdrawn from the plan.
The president will have to end his selective use of decision making if he plans to win the election in 2020. One can not help but compare this episode to the tax bill Trump just signed, which strips deductions from taxpayers in blue states in order to fund various GOP ideological priorities.
Gov. -elect Northam released a statement condemning the Trump administration's plan earlier this month.
If the Florida decision had been the result of a thoughtful process that ended in a report explaining how Florida's coast is somehow more precious than every other stretch of coast the Trump administration has slated to open, it would have at least appeared less capricious.