With a published statement, Mr Zinke explained that the decision to exempt Florida from the offshore oil and gas exploitation proposal, was made after Florida's Governor, Rick Scott, request.
Specifically, Mr. Scott highlighted that such a plan may cause unnecessary risks to the state of Florida, whose economy relies heavily on tourism, because of its coasts.
Recently, the government of USA announced that it will develop the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024.
According to the US government, this program proposes to make over 90% of the total OCS acreage and more than 98% of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in federal offshore areas available to consider for future exploration and development.
“By proposing to open up nearly the entire OCS for potential oil and gas exploration, the United States can advance the goal of moving from aspiring for energy independence to attaining energy dominance. This decision could bring unprecedented access to America’s extensive offshore oil and gas resources and allows us to better compete with other oil-rich nations,” said Vincent DeVito, Counselor for Energy Policy at Interior.
The new program overturns the last one, which had 94% of the OCS off limits.