Senator questions protecting Florida from drilling

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By MATTHEW DALY

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration may have violated federal law by exempting Florida from a national plan to expand offshore drilling, a Democratic senator says.

Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision to give Florida a last-minute exemption while ignoring at least 10 other states that made similar requests may violate requirements of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which governs drilling in U.S. coastal waters.

She says Zinke’s action is especially outrageous because Florida – unlike California, Washington and other states – did not expressly oppose the drilling proposal in written comments submitted to the Interior Department.

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