The Gulf states are divided on whether to support or oppose the Trump administration's repeal of the offshore drilling safety rules established after the BP 2010 historic oil disaster.
On the opposite side is Florida, Whose delegation in Congress and Republican Governor Rick Scott has opposed both the reversal of the rule and the proposal for massive expansion of offshore drilling in federal waters.
Rep. Vern Buchanan, Republican of Florida, is finalizing a letter opposing the revocations of the safety standard at sea, which will end and begin circulating next week.
"Have we forgotten the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe so soon?" Buchanan said in a statement. referring to the explosion of the oil rig on the Gulf Coast in 2010 that killed 11 people and caused one of the worst oil spills and environmental disasters in the history of the United States.
"This is a recipe for disaster," he added. "It would be a great mistake to weaken these security norms and risk not only lives but catastrophic consequences for our environment." If Secretary Zinke does not reject this reckless and reckless proposal, then I will ask Congress to intervene and establish the rules on a permanent basis. .
Among the proposed changes, the Department of the Interior would eliminate a provision that requires third-party inspectors of certain safety equipment – such as a blowout prevention device – to certify it through its security office. The explosion prevention device broke at the bottom of the sea in the Deepwater Horizon incident, shedding almost 4 million barrels of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Announced in the Senate that he will try to block Trump's backsliding from safety rules, using the Congressional Review Act.
The resolution gives Congress the ability to block any rule with a simple majority. The trick is that there is a limited window to use it and the president can veto it.
Scott also opposes any drilling activity that could kill the Sunshine tourist industry.
"We are reviewing these rules, but Florida is home to pristine beaches that receive millions of visitors each year, and the governor does not support offshore drilling that could put him at risk, "said John Tupps, director of communications for Scott.
But on the other side of the Gulf in Louisiana refinery, Trump's attitude toward retreat is exactly the opposite.
Whiz Steve Scalise, Republican Majority, supports the administration's goal of achieving "mastery of energy" without sacrificing security, which would require some changes in the Obama administration rules pertaining to energy production offshore, according to your office.
Scalise sees the rules as specifically designed to make it more difficult, and not necessarily safer, to drill in the Gulf, his office told the Washington Examiner. Scalise supports rule changes that maintain high safety standards without impeding future development.
That is a position backed by a senior Louisiana official representing the fishing industry, which sued BP after the 2010 oil disaster that damaged the industry.
Despite the damage caused more than seven years ago, Acy Cooper Jr., president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, said he wants drilling at sea to continue in the Gulf.
"We have no problems with offshore drilling, as long as they are safe in what they do," Cooper said.
"While they are safe and doing the things they are supposed to do, we do not have any problem with that, because we all need fossil fuels," he said. He said. "Even as a ship owner, I need it to work with my ships, we do not see a problem with drilling, we just see a problem with not following compliance with state and federal regulations, that's where the problems arise."
"At any other time, let them do what they should do, because after the BP spill, they hurt us when the Obama administration stopped the drilling because many fishermen go to work in the oil fields," he said.
Cooper said that fishing communities and oil workers are interconnected and mutually supportive. In the fishing season, "all the coastal parishes in Louisiana, many of them are working in the oil fields," Cooper said.
"We are an oil community and a fishing community," he said. "If you remove the oil field, they only depend on the fishing community, and it is difficult to maintain a town like ours … if you take business out of it." He said that restaurants and other businesses failed during the Obama administration without work in the oilfields.
"We have no problem with drilling, we just have the problem with what BP did by not following the regulations," Cooper said.
He said the BP spill was an exception to the way most marine drillers operate. BP had evaded maintenance and safety protocols to reduce operational costs, which led to the massive spill.
Most of the other operators in the Gulf who followed the state and federal guidelines before the disaster frowned on BP practices once it was revealed that the spill could have been prevented. Commercial groups representing the oil and gas industry argued that the security rules that the Obama administration implemented were not necessary and could be harmful if implemented.
Cooper said he wants the administration to give up the Obama era rules that are preventing drilling in the Gulf.
"We want you to do that," he said. "We want them to go ahead and drill, because as I said, many guys go back to work in the oil field." he said.
"If we do not have it, then the community suffers," Cooper said. "Open it".