Florida senator demands answers on Interior’s offshore drilling plan

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) is pushing the Interior Department to answer questions about the future of offshore drilling in his state.

In a letter sent to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday, Nelson urged Zinke to clarify previous statements he and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) made that Florida is “off the table” for potential future offshore drilling plans — a statement Zinke made via Twitter in January but has since walked back

Nelson, who is firmly opposed to opening Florida’s offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, asked Zinke to clarify what the state’s future for expanded drilling is and to provide details as to how Interior plans to protect Florida’s coast.
“Despite your initial announcement in January that Floridians should not worry about your new plan, you later told Congressional committees that ‘Florida did not get an exemption’ and is ‘still under consideration,'” Nelson wrote.

The congressman pressed Zinke for failing to provide any details about the pact he made with Scott earlier in the year that led to his first announcement that Florida would be exempted from the new Interior policy to open up offshore drilling in the U.S

“Any plan that allows oil drilling one inch closer to Florida’s shores is unacceptable,” Nelson wrote.