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Lawsuit Seeks to Show Taking Florida Off the Table For Offshore Drilling Was a Publicity Stunt

May 25th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
A new lawsuit is hoping to uncover the intent behind a deal made between Governor Rick Scott and the US Department of Interior back in January.
Earlier this year the President announced he would lift a moratorium on oil drilling in 14 states.
The decision continues to be a political hot potato.
Which is why many raised their eyebrows when Governor Rick Scott made a surprise announcement just a few days later that Florida would be removed from consideration.
U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke emphasized Scott’s role in the decision.
When we asked Zinke at the announcement what changed his mind on Florida he replied simply, “The Governor.”
Environmentalists like Jack Rudloe who heads the Gulf Specimens Marine Laboratories in Panacea took the announcement with a grain of salt.
“I said, this is too good to be true,” said Rudloe.
The announcement caused controversy between other states like California and Alabama who felt if Florida were given special treatment, they should too.
We now know the move was premature and Florida was in fact not officially taken off the table.
“It is too good to be true,” said Rudloe.
A new lawsuit by Washington based group American Oversight is requesting emails and other documents to try and prove the whole event was a political stunt to boost Scott’s chances in his race for U.S. Senate.
Rudloe says he would be surprised if it were anything but.
“They don’t care that the sand dollars have all disappeared from the coast,” said Rudloe. “I mean maybe they even do care on some level, but money first. Dollar, dollar, dollar.”
There is still ongoing debate over whether Florida will be removed from drilling consideration.
Political experts say regardless of the ultimate decision, Scott can still say he’s against offshore drilling.
In statement the Governor’s office said, “The Governor has been very clear on this issue. He is confident Secretary Zinke and the Department of Interior will honor their commitment that Florida is off the table for offshore drilling.”

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