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U.S. Rep. Rooney Wants Florida Exempt From Offshore Drilling Proposal

Congressman Francis Rooney, R-FL

Several Florida Republican lawmakers are against a Trump administration proposal that could increase the amount of offshore drilling.

The U.S. Department of the Interior proposed making more offshore leases available for oil and gas exploration for 90 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf, Thursday.

The Outer Continental Shelf consists of submerged land off America’s coasts that are beyond states’ jurisdiction. 

Florida Governor Rick Scott and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio are among the state’s prominent Republicans who aren’t onboard with the idea.

U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-FL, of Naples said Florida should be exempt, because of its tourist-based economy and the military training that happens on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

"We don't have to destroy Florida to make sure that America is energy independent." 

Rooney said there are other places in the U.S. that are more compatible with offshore and onshore drilling – and that Florida is NOT one of them.

The Republican congressman said he’s confident the Trump administration will heed fellow party members’ concerns. 

Quincy Walters is a reporter and backup host for WGCU.