ICYMI: Florida Editorials Warn to Not Trust Trump’s Offshore Drilling Political Stunt

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10 mins read

Earlier this week, Donald Trump visited Jupiter, Florida for what amounted to a campaign rally on the taxpayers’ dime so he could bizarrely claim to be a ‘great environmentalist’ and in nothing more than a political ploy, sign an easily reversible executive order in an attempt to distract from a long, dangerous anti-environment record.

As the Orlando Sentinel and Palm Beach Post editorial boards point out, executive orders can be rescinded and Trump has given voters every reason to believe he will open our coastline to offshore drilling if he’s re-elected. 
 
Trump spent his first term floating and then walking back plans to open Florida’s coastline to offshore drilling and he has actually loosened Obama-era offshore drilling safety rules. The House already passed legislation to permanently ban drilling off Florida’s coast, but it has stalled in the Republican-held Senate. If Donald Trump had any intention of keeping this promise to Floridians, he would urge his own party to take up this bill so he could sign it into law.
 
Orlando Sentinel:Don’t gush over Trump’s offshore drilling ban, it may be a fleeting political move | Editorial

  • “The signing ceremony in Jupiter was essentially a campaign rally. The stage was decked out in balloons and the flags of Florida and America. The backdrop was the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.”
  • “We’d join in the celebration, but we suspect he signed the executive order with invisible ink.”
  • “Trump is hardly the first politician to flip-flop on a touchy campaign issue, but this was like Nancy Pelosi coming out in favor of the border wall. The Sierra Club rates Trump “the worst president in our history for our environment.”
  • “Alarm bells started blaring in Florida when Trump moved to allow offshore drilling in nearly all U.S. coastal waters in 2018. Gov. Rick Scott hopped on the phone and said that would not play in Pensacola or anywhere else in Florida, and the Interior Department quickly exempted the state from the plan.”
  • Politico reported last June the Trump administration was planning to open drilling off Florida’s Gulf Coast, but it would not announce it until after the 2020 presidential election.”
  • “The executive order can be reversed with the stroke of a pen. If Trump is re-elected, there’s nothing to stop him from reverting to form.”
  • “Trump should strong-arm the Senate into passing a bill that permanently bans drilling off our coasts. Then he should sign it in permanent ink.”
  • “Until then, we must assume he’s far more concerned about Florida’s 29 electoral votes than protecting its beaches.”

Palm Beach Post: Editorial: Thanks for the oil drilling ban, Mr. President, but you’re no Teddy Roosevelt 

  • “The heroism was a sham. Remember, it was his own administration which said, in January 2018, that it planned to end an Obama-era moratorium on oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Trump was rescuing Florida from a peril that he himself had created.”
  • “He was like the firefighter who is also an arsonist — the guy who starts blazes in order to bask in the adulation he receives for putting them out.”
  • “Trump made his announcement amid an astounding gusher of lies about his supposed commitment to the environment, demanding a suspension of disbelief almost as enormous as his needy ego. “Number one since Teddy Roosevelt,” Trump said of himself. “Trump is the great environmentalist. I am, I am, I believe strongly in it.”
  • “The Trump administration has moved to repeal about 100 environmental regulations, an unprecedented assault on the nation’s clean air and clean water. With particular relish, Trump has weakened Obama-era limits on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and cars and trucks.”
  • “Even as rising sea levels threaten his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Trump has called climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. He removed climate change from a list of national security threats.”
  • “Trump loves to take credit for funding Everglades restoration, although — like banning oil drilling — the bipartisan effort in Congress to restore the legendary River of Grass long predates his administration. And, as U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, reminded on Tuesday: The White House has not prodded the Republican-controlled Senate to act on its Everglades funding proposal.”

Florida TodayHere’s what President Trump must do to show Floridians he wants to protect coasts | Opinion

  • “Mr. Trump has spent nearly four years as president insisting that almost all federal waters off our country’s coasts should be available for exploration and drilling for oil as part of a U.S. energy dominance agenda.”
  • “He has instructed his federal agencies to make plans for issuing oil and gas leases in all the Atlantic and all waters off Florida’s coasts. In fact, the preliminary permits needed for offshore oil exploration, including drilling test oil wells, in the Atlantic have already been approved by his administration.”
  • “The date chosen for the moratorium to begin and actions that the administration has not taken are signs that the oil industry might be crying crocodile tears over the Mr. Trump’s moratorium.”
  • “If President Trump wants to convince Florida voters that he really wants to protect their coasts from the inevitable leaks and spills that are inherent in the oil drilling, transportation and refining process, then he must take two actions immediately.”
  • “First, he must direct his Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to quickly deny the seismic testing permits for the Atlantic that are the subject of the federal lawsuit.”
  • “Second, he must insist that the Senate pass before November the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, the successful House bill that would permanently ban offshore drilling along the entire Atlantic Coast and the Straits of Florida.”
  • “Should the president not take these additional steps, the issue of offshore drilling for oil will be on the ballot this election season.”
  • “Voters will have every reason to believe that if they help re-elect Mr. Trump, he will reverse course once again on offshore drilling and with four more years, he will succeed in handing over Florida’s coasts to the oil industry.” 

Sun SentinelTrump bans coastal drilling in blatant bid for Florida votes | Fred Grimm

  •  “Trump is the great environmentalist,” Trump said of himself Tuesday, forgetting that his administration has sabotaged more than 100 environmental regulations that limited carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and power plants, regulated the disposal of toxic chemicals and prohibited the release of methane gas from oil and gas wells. Trump’s administration emasculated clean water rules and, just two weeks ago, loosened the limits on how much mercury and arsenic coal mines can dump into streams and rivers.”
  • “No one confuses Donald Trump with Marjory Stoneman Douglas.”
  • “But in Florida, and apparently only in Florida, he magically transforms himself into the “Number 1 environmental president.” (The coastal waters of Georgia and South Carolina were also included in the executive order banning offshore drilling. North Carolina, which has a Democratic governor, was excluded.)”
  • “Before his abrupt transformation last week, Trump had been sympathetic to such corporate wants. In 2018, the Department of Interior developed a plan to lease drilling rights for more than 90 percent of America’s coastal waters. That includes 100 million acres of Arctic waters off Alaska.”


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