TALLAHASSEE, FL – The backlash against Rick Scott is continuing, as the spotlight on his long and well documented record of backing drilling off Florida’s beaches and shores keeps getting brighter. Here’s what they’re saying:
Politifact: Gov. Rick Scott’s Full Flop on oil drilling:“Scott’s statement [opposing drilling off Florida’s coasts] led to claims that Scott had flip-flopped on offshore oil drilling. Scott’s announcement came as the term-limited Republican governor is poised to potentially run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, an opponent of an expansion of drilling. Scott’s spokespersons argued that Scott made no flip. During his first campaign for governor in 2010, Scott called for drilling offshore. But when Trump’s administration proposed an expansion of offshore drilling Jan. 4, Scott said he opposed the idea and sought a meeting with Zinke. That rejection sounds different from his stance when he first ran for governor in 2010 and he was open to drilling. We give Scott a Full Flop.”
Miami Herald: Just how exactly did Florida get excused from oil drilling? “It turns out that Florida was the only coastal state that didn’t take a clear stance on the drilling proposal when the Interior Department came calling this summer. Gov. Rick Scott, who has supported drilling in the past, publicly intervened only in recent days. Meanwhile, governors from other states firmly objected, and yet still face the prospect of oil rigs towering offshore.” “Frank Jackalone, the Sierra Club’s Florida chapter director, called Scott’s failure to oppose the plan sooner “irresponsible.” He said it bolstered his sense that the deal was just a ploy to secure environmental credentials for Scott ahead of an anticipated run against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, a staunch drilling opponent.”
“Over the summer, the Department of Interior asked states for ‘information/comment’ on its drilling plan. Florida officials outlined serious concerns… but ultimately expressed no position for or against…the governors of California, Oregon and Washington, all Democrats, jointly said they opposed drilling…Now, leaders in some of those anti-drilling states have been crying foul.”
Washington Post: Excluding Florida from a new offshore drilling plan sure looks partisan: “…rarely are politicians so brazen and self-serving as President Trump and his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, have been over the past week. First they announced a new offshore drilling plan that would force unwilling coastal states to open up their waters to oil and gas exploration… Then just a few days later, they gave swing state Florida a special exception from the unpopular drilling plan, crediting Gov. Rick Scott (R), who may run for Senate this year, for securing the dispensation.”For his part, Zinke defended the decision to exempt Florida by arguing that the administration always intended to consult with governors before making any final drilling decisions…It took approximately no time for leaders in other drilling-skeptical states to call Mr. Zinke on his words. Shortly after the announcement, a bipartisan group of governors from states such as New York, Oregon and South Carolina all asked publicly for their own special exceptions.