Garret Graves Blasts Interior Department For Excluding Florida From Its Oil Drilling Plan

The Trump administration has announced a plan to expand drilling off the coasts of the United States. The original plan opened up nearly the entire coastline of the country.

However, Florida Governor Rick Scott complained about opening up the coasts of Florida. As a result of the complaints, Florida’s coastline was excluded from the drilling plan.

The decision has outraged Congressman Garret Graves. He sent out a press release blasting the decision to exclude Florida.

Here’s the press release:

Congressman Garret Graves (R-South Louisiana) sent a letter today to Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke blasting the agency’s recent capitulation on energy exploration in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico (EGOM). The agency’s National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024 proposal released on January 4, 2018 initially included exploration and production activities in the EGOM but excluded the EGOM just days later – prior to the public having an opportunity to participate in a public comment period.

Graves contends that DOI’s actions are a double standard, granting preferential treatment to some states over others.

“DOI explicitly states in its Fiscal Year 2018 Budget in Brief document that “the sale of public resources from Federal water owned by all Americans [should] benefit all Americans”. That statement is irreconcilable with the recent EGOM announcement. How can DOI call offshore energy a federal resource that should yield a national benefit and turnaround to grant full deference to the adjacent “local and state voice” in deciding whether to pursue development of a resource which belongs to all Americans? The potentially tens of billions of dollars in energy resources in the EGOM – that, according to the Department, belong to all Americans for the benefit of all Americans – are now off limits at the behest of a single state…

If it is now the Department of the Interior’s position that adjacent states and local governments dictate what happens in federal waters and how federal resources in those waters are to be managed – regardless of the tens of billions of dollars in potential implications to the federal treasury or dependence on foreign energy – Louisiana’s voice deserves to be heard as well,” Graves stated in the letter.

If Louisiana was as opposed to offshore drilling as Florida is, Louisiana would’ve been excluded as well. The reason why Florida was excluded is because it is a battleground state.


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