Opinion: It’s easy to see why swing state Florida got an offshore drilling exemption

Offshore oil drilling platforms can be seen off the California coastline from Huntington Beach.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The primary motive for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s summary granting of Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s offshore drilling exemption request for Florida likely went beyond the president’s desire to flip a U.S. Senate seat or to benefit his opulent Mar-a-Lago property. (“Democrats on both coasts cry foul after Trump administration exempts Florida from offshore drilling plan,” Jan. 9)

Many other states — the Los Angeles Times cites both red and blue ones — sport natural beauty that rivals Florida’s. But consider those states’ likely roles in the next presidential election.

President Trump deems the blue states lost causes in 2020, and so has no qualms about despoiling their natural beauty. Plus, Trump can shrug off red states such as Texas and Louisiana, as they both backed him by landslide margins. Not so with Florida, whose 29 electoral votes went to Trump, thanks to a 1.2% voter margin.

Any question as to why Zinke instantly granted Scott’s request?


Devra Mindell, Santa Monica


To the editor: If there is any new drilling off the coast of California, it should be done within easy view of Trump’s golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Our beaches are just as important to tourism as Florida’s. The only difference is that we have a Democratic governor.


Lorraine Knopf, Santa Monica

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