The on-again, off-again saga of drilling off the Florida coast is…on again. Well, apparently it was never really off.
Just a few days after the Trump administration proposed opening nearly the entire U.S. coast to drilling, including the long off-limits eastern Gulf of Mexico off Florida, there came a hasty announcement from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. After meeting briefly with Florida governor Rick Scott, Zinke announced that there would be no drilling off Florida.
At first that seemed like good news, but it’s also true that major decisions such as where to allow drilling are hugely complex and take months and years to outline. The political theatre of Sec. Zinke’s announcement was replaced a few days later by a reality-check from the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, who said that Zinke’s announcement is not official policy and that the five year leasing plan—including drilling off FL—is...