The Interior Department’s decision to exempt Florida’s coast from a proposed expansion of offshore oil drilling prompted an onslaught of calls from officials in other coastal states demanding similar treatment. The demands came from both sides of the aisle but particularly from Democrats. “Local voices in Virginia have also spoken up. This would hurt our coastal economies and threaten our naval operations in Norfolk. If it’s truly about “local voice” — not just protecting President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago — then make this same commitment for Virginia,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D) wrote in a tweet, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The exception made for Florida creates new doubts about the fate of the administration’s plan to permit drilling in most U.S. continental shelf-waters, reports the Washington Post.
DoD photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard/Released