With Gov. Scott echoing the concerns of Florida’s congressional delegation’s opposition to President Trump’s offshore oil drilling initiative, one would have thought the administration would all be on the same page, or at the very least, reading from the same playbook, right?
My old friend former congressman and now-Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, said that Florida would be “taken off the table” in respects to any future oil exploration push.
But apparently, Walter Cruickshank, the acting director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, didn’t get Zinke’s “we are not drilling in Florida” memo.
Cruickshank recently told a group of congressional leaders that Florida was indeed still “on the table” because there was no formal decision made to etch Zinke’s words into stone.
As you can imagine, this did not sit well with the bipartisan group of legislators.
Both Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson grabbed their phones and pens and proceeded to write Zinke a letter expressing their deep opposition to “any attempt to open up the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling.”
Nelson, who will face the biggest challenge of his political career when he defends his seat against Rick Scott later this year (It’s happening, believe me), just scored some points for himself after openly and aggressively questioning the Interior Department’s real oil drilling motives.
Now, its Zinke’s move. Zinke will need to unequivocally affirm his previous statement of not drilling off Florida’s coast. The former Navy Seal may have a political dagger or two up his sleeves, stay tuned.
You can bet Rubio, Nelson, Gaetz, and the rest of the bunch will be a thorn in his side until he does so.
Speaking of daggers, Zinke has a desk-sprawling collection of really cool hand-to-hand combat knives he has collected while a member of the Teams.