REP LIEU STATEMENT ON EXEMPTION OF FLORIDA IN TRUMP ADMIN OFFSHORE DRILLING PLAN
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D - Los Angeles County) issued the following statement in response to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's decision to exclude Florida from its offshore drilling plan.
"Secretary Ryan Zinke's action of exempting just Florida from the Trump Administration’s proposed offshore oil drilling plan smacks of naked political favoritism. It's also illegal. Exempting Florida but not another large coastal state like California has no rational basis, is an abuse of discretion, and is arbitrary and capricious.
Secretary Zinke stated he is exempting Florida because its coasts 'are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.' That is true, since Florida’s coastal economy accounts for 79% of Florida’s GDP. What is also true is that California’s coasts are also heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver. California’s coastal economy accounts for 80% of California’s GDP, a slightly larger share than Florida. In fact, California's coastal economy is unique and so important that the federal government produced an entire report on the critical importance of California's coastal economy not just to California, but to our nation.
Under Secretary Zinke’s own rationale, if he exempts Florida from offshore oil drilling he must also exempt California. Secretary Zinke clearly recognizes the devastating impact that offshore oil drilling can have on Florida’s economy, so why isn’t he recognizing how bad it would be for other states as well?"