President Trump on Tuesday moved to block oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina until mid-2032, a decade longer than drilling is currently delayed off Florida’s Gulf Coast.
“I will sign a presidential order extending the moratorium on offshore drilling on Florida’s Gulf Coast and expanding it to Florida’s Atlantic Coast as well as the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina,” Trump said while speaking at Jupiter, Fla.’s Inlet Lighthouse and Museum before signing the order.
“Thanks to my administration’s pro-American energy policies we can take this step and the next step while remaining the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world,” he added.
Trump made the announcement from a key swing state in the presidential election. A poll from NBC News earlier on Tuesday found Trump tied with Biden in Florida. Georgia is also considered a competitive state in the election, though it has been reliably Republican in recent presidential contests.
A congressionally passed offshore drilling moratorium protects Florida’s gulf waters from offshore drilling until mid-2022. The state’s House delegation has tried to extend that, pushing through legislation that would permanently block drilling near the state, though it has yet to be considered by the Senate.
Offshore drilling is nearly universally opposed by leaders in both political parties in Florida after tourism was heavily impacted following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. A 2018 state amendment to block offshore drilling was also approved by nearly 70 percent of Florida voters.