The Florida coast is vitally important to the American government. That’s why the Trump administration has decided to make a move that might win more votes for Trump in the presidential election.
U.S. President Donald Trump, a normally enthusiastic advocate for the oil industry, announced Tuesday that he was extending a 10-year moratorium on drilling on the Florida coast, a gesture aimed at bolstering his support in this key state for the November election.
A necessary extension to just months of the election
“In a few moments I will sign a presidential order extending the moratorium on offshore drilling on the Florida Gulf Coast and expanding it to Florida’s Atlantic coast, as well as to the coast of Georgia and South Carolina,” Trump said at an event in Jupiter, Florida.
The moratorium on drilling in the east of the Gulf of Mexico, which was due to expire in 2022, will now run until 2032.
Republican Senator Rick Scott celebrates good news for Florida
“After many conversations with @realDonaldTrump about the importance of keeping Florida’s pristine shores pristine, I’m glad he’s extending the moratorium for another 10 years,” Florida Sen. Rick Scott, the state’s former Republican governor, said on Twitter.
Trump’s Democratic rival for the White House, Joe Biden, hastened to point out that “just a few months ago, Donald Trump planned to allow oil and gas drilling off the Coast of Florida. Now, 56 days after the election, he conveniently says he changed his mind. I can’t believe it.”
The decision is drastically in contrast to previous actions taken by the Trump administration, which in mid-August passed a move that will open the way for oil and gas drilling in a wildlife reserve in Alaska that is home to polar bears.
In 2018, the White House said it would open almost all U.S. coastal waters to oil and gas drilling, a decision that found opposition in numerous states and is still being challenged in court.
Florida will be a key state in the November election.
In 2016, Trump won it by a small margin thanks to the elderly vote, but this year Democrat Joe Biden has a very narrow advantage over the current president.