Trump just carved out one shameful exception to his coastal oil drilling plan

Trump’s Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, announced today that he will allow Republican-governed Florida to exempt itself from the President’s plan to expand coastal oil drilling, while leaving all other coastal states vulnerable to BP-level oil spills — prompting suspicions that he wants to protect Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort. 

In a statement defending his decision, Zinke — who has been embroiled in litany of corruption scandals during Trump’s first year in office — rationalized the bizarre Florida carveout by saying that that states’ coasts “are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.”

Of course, journalists like the AP’s Nick Riccardi immediately pointed out a glaring inconsistency in Zinke’s explanation: all coastal states, not just Republican ones, depend on tourism as a major economic engine. 


Plenty of Republican states lie along America’s coasts, as well, and they are not amused by this shifty maneuver, as many of them will have to face voters next year.

36 governor’s seats are up for grabs in 2018, that’s three-quarters of American states and 26 of those seats are Republican.

What could the difference be between all those other Republican states and Florida?  Let’s see . . . could it be that President Trump’s “Winter White House,” the Mar-A-Lago resort where he entertains all his foreign conflicts of interest, is located there?

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Democratic states, like Southern California’s Rep. Darrell Issa, are already vulnerable to challengers from across the aisle.  By not securing a carveout for their districts, they are opening themselves up to an even greater risk of defeat.

With this new decision to give preferential treatment to the Mar-A-Lago state, the Trump administration is antagonizing lawmakers from both parties.

After all, by exempting himself from his own oil drilling expansion, the climate-denying president is admitting that it is a toxic environmental hazard, not to mention an eyesore.

With the onslaught of catastrophes that this White House as brought upon itself — from accusations of sexual assault, to a special investigation into a Trump-Russia conspiracy, to a new book exposing internal chaos — it seems they would want to avoid further scrutiny.

Instead, Trump just keeps inviting the disgust of an ever more hostile electorate.

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Lucia Brawley

Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to Follow her on Twitter: @luciabrawley