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Senators from 12 states seek offshore drilling exemptions like Florida's

Senators from 12 states seek offshore drilling exemptions like Florida's | 11 Jan 2018 | Twenty-two Democratic U.S. senators from 12 states on Thursday joined the chorus of local representatives seeking exemptions from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's newly proposed offshore drilling plan, after his surprise move on Tuesday to shield Florida. Zinke surprised lawmakers, governors, and industry groups on Tuesday night by announcing that Florida would be removed from the Interior Department's proposal to open up over 90 percent of federal waters to oil and gas leasing. Zinke had met in Tallahassee, Florida's capital, with Republican Governor Rick Scott, who told the Interior chief that drilling puts his state's coastal tourism economy at risk. Scott is widely expected to challenge Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who is up for re-election this year.