President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday banning off-shore oil drilling on Florida’s Gulf Coast and other regions until 2032.
Trump made the surprise announcement and signed the documents during an appearance in Florida highlighting his efforts on the environment. The order will extend an already existing ban on drilling in the region beyond it’s previous 2022 sunset date, as well as banning drilling in Georgia and South Carolina, according to Politico.
Pres announces he’s signing an order extending moratorium on off-shore oil drilling off Florida’s gulf coast, and expanding it to the Atlantic coasts of FL, GA and SC. “I guess you like that one the best of all,” he said in response to audience ovation.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 8, 2020
Trump’s move reportedly comes as a surprise to oil companies who were working with the Department of the Interior (DOI) in recent weeks (RELATED: REPORT: Trump Considering Investing Up To $100 Million Of Personal Funds Into 2020 Campaign)
“It’s a complete ambush,” said one industry official familiar with DOI’s plans told Politico. “Nobody knows where this came from. It totally seems like a campaign sort of thing.”
The move comes more than a year after the administration shelved plans to drastically expand off-shore drilling in 2019. Trump had also issued executive orders earlier in his administration seeking to expand the practice of drilling. He attempted to open the Arctic waters on Alaska’s coast to oil exploration in 2017, but a federal judge struck down the order.
Text of Trump’s order has yet to be released.
Trump also used his appearance in Florida to praise the Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and hit Vice President Joe Biden.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) September 8, 2020
Trump was in Florida on Tuesday for only a few hours before departing for a campaign appearance in North Carolina.