Last week, Trump announced that offshore drilling was coming to a shore near everyone as he issued new rules that would lift decades of protections for America’s coastlines. By returning the nation to the open-to-oil state that existed before a series of major spills led to restricting the areas in which oil companies could build future disaster sites, Trump pleased oil companies, and practically no one else.
With memories spanning from Santa Barbara to Deepwater Horizon offering up scenes of spoiled beaches, devastated fisheries, and wildlife dying under sheets of soot-black tar, it’s not hard to understand why most states affected by this massive gift to America’s oil companies upset politicians on the left and the right. The thoughtlessness and risk posed by this proposal is not even countered by a national need, as America continues to be in the midst of an oil and gas glut.
A total of 22 states are affected by the proposal, and only a handful—all of which already had offshore drilling—voiced any support for the idea. But the next step by Trump was the one that really infuriated the rest: he gave Florida a free out.
The Trump administration said Tuesday it would not allow oil drilling off the coast of Florida, abruptly reversing course under pressure from Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
It was a decision that rubbed a truckload of “this is a completely political decision” into the wound.