WASHINGTON – Does Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have amnesia?
During an appearance Thursday before the House Committee on Natural Resources, Zinke bizarrely claimed "Florida did not get an exemption," from the administration's offshore oil drilling plan.
Zinke on Thursday then went on to explain why Florida was, well, exempt, pointing out bipartisan opposition and the current moratorium on eastern Gulf drilling.
What seems to be going on here is the administration realizes it made a mess with the Florida exemption. (Zinke danced around a bit earlier this week before a Senate committee.)
Other states are opposed to more drilling, too, and have played up the argument that the Trump administration was doing a political favor for Scott, who is poised to enter the U.S. Senate race against Democrat Bill Nelson.
"It's becoming clear that no one really knows what offshore drilling deal Secretary Zinke cut with the governor of Florida, including Zinke himself," Nelson said after learning of the remarks. "More and more, it's beginning to sound like no deal really exists and, as feared, it's all one big political sleight of hand."