Florida Gov. Rick Scott, an ardent support of Donald Trump, blasted the president on Thursday over his administration’s latest plan to expand offshore drilling, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The Trump administration unveiled a controversial new plan to allow drilling in protected areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic—a move opposed by state governors and attorneys general, the Defense Department and over 100 U.S. lawmakers, according to the Washington Post.
In a statement, Scott said the Interior Department’s plan to “consider Florida as a potential state for offshore oil drilling” would negatively impact his state’s natural resources.
“My top priority is to ensure that Florida’s natural resources are protected, which is why I proposed $1.7 billion for the environment in this year’s budget,” Scott, a Republican, said in a statement.
Governor Scott’s Statement on Trump Administration’s Plan on Offshore Oil Drilling: pic.twitter.com/iQqNU9afsQ
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) January 4, 2018
In response to Scott’s statement, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke promised to have a “dialogue” with the Florida governor.
Interior Department says no oil drilling lease sales in eastern Gulf of Mexico until 2023, after moratorium through 2022 expires. “I look forward to having that dialogue with Gov. Scott — I know him well,” Interior @SecretaryZinke says.
— Bruce Ritchie (@bruceritchie) January 4, 2018
As the Tampa Bay Times notes, Scott is expected to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) this year. The Florida senator had an even more forceful response to the Trump administration’s announcement, calling it an “assault on Florida’s economy, our national security, the will of the public and the environment.”
“This proposal defies all common sense and I will do everything I can to defeat it,” Nelson said.