Interior Secretary Zinke doubled down on confusing lawmakers in Congress when he admitted in the House Natural Resources Committee this morning that, “Florida did not get an exemption,” referencing the agency’s five-year offshore drilling plan and his announcement in January with Gov. Scott saying Florida was “off the table” for oil drilling.
Zinke’s statement comes just two days after he made a similar statement at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where he claimed, “Florida is still in the process.”
Asked by Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) why California wasn’t considered for the same exemption Florida received, Zinke responded sharply, “Florida did not get an exemption.”
Both statements from Zinke this week contradict his announcement in January with Gov. Scott, where he claimed he took Florida, “off the table,” which many agreed at the time, was nothing more than a political stunt.
“It’s becoming clear that no one really knows what offshore drilling deal Secretary Zinke cut with the governor of Florida, including Zinke himself,” Nelson said after learning of his remarks. “More and more, it’s beginning to sound like no deal really exists and, as feared, it’s all one big political sleight of hand.”
Here’s a link to Sec. Zinke’s exchange with Rep. Torres: