So what exactly are the offshore drilling plans, Florida senator asks


"California is also "unique" & our "coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.' Our 'local and state voice" is firmly opposed to any and all offshore drilling", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra tweeted, referencing Zinke's own statement.

Zinke flew to Tallahassee on Tuesday to meet in person with Scott - a staunch Trump ally who pushed back against the administration's offshore proposal even before an official announcement.

A Florida senator at the center of the debate over offshore drilling under the Trump administration said the Interior Department's latest plans lack clarity. "Brown asked for the same consideration for Oregon's "people's coast" as was given Florida", Hockaday said.

The phone call came days after Zinke agreed to exempt Florida from a new Trump administration proposal to expand oil and gas drilling off most of the US coastline. There is, however, one big difference between Florida and California: The Trump administration wants Scott to run for the Florida Senate seat now held by Democrat Bill Nelson. "Local voice matters", he insisted.

Other Republican governors also oppose the plan, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker.

Governors and legal experts say that the drilling plan could be struck down if Zinke does not provide the same consideration to other states as he did to Florida.

Scott - who continues to deny the science behind climate change and has - is challenging Sen. In it, he noted the threats offshore drilling pose to Virginia's major economic drivers including tourism, fishing, aquaculture, and our military installations.

Cynicism has always been a part of politics, but rarely are politicians so brazen and self-serving as President Donald Trump and his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, have been over the past week. "I don't believe it", Nelson said in a statement.

"I grew up on Virginia's Eastern Shore and can tell you firsthand that the Chesapeake Bay and the Commonwealth's ocean and coastal resources are every bit as ecologically and economically valuable as those of Florida, a state that was recently exempted from the leasing plan", Gov. -elect Northam writes.

"We are outraged; this is absolutely unacceptable", she said of the drilling plan.

The five-year plan would open 90 percent of the nation's offshore reserves to development by private companies, Zinke said, with 47 leases proposed off the nation's coastlines from 2019 to 2024. The plan follows Trump's executive order in April encouraging more drilling rights in federal waters, part of the administration's strategy to help the USA achieve "energy dominance" in the global market.

Industry groups praised the announcement to drill offshore, while environmental groups denounced the plan, saying it would harm America's oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life.