Florida congressmen say Ryan to support ban on eastern Gulf drilling

An offshore production platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Julie Dermansky / Corbis via Getty Images

With the Interior Department looking to greatly expand the coastal regions made available for oil and natural gas drilling, Florida GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Francis Rooney told Politico that House Speaker Paul Ryan has pledged to push for a ban on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: Republican support for President Trump's "energy dominance" agenda has a limit, and one of the areas most likely to fall off the final drilling plan is offshore Florida. NIMBYism — not in my backyard — is a tried and true practice. Florida's politicians from both parties have long opposed drilling off their coastline given the state's dependence on beach tourism and fears of an oil spill.

What they're saying, per Politico:

  • “There is a governmental funding bill that has to be passed later this month,” Gaetz told Politico. “Francis Rooney and I had a conversation about this with Speaker Ryan, who gave Rooney and I a commitment that eastern Gulf moratorium language will be in the must-pass bill.”
  • Rooney said he is drafting language to ensure the current moratorium doesn't expire, adding that Ryan said House leadership will assist his efforts.

Yesterday, Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) said that Rep. Rob Bishop, (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, "told him that a proposal extending the moratorium on drilling for 40 years would be brought up in his committee," Politico reported.

What's next

⚖️ Live updates: Democrats' second day of opening arguments

"He could release the aid or break the law. He chose to break the law," House impeachment manager Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said at day 3 of Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

The big picture: Democrats have roughly 8 hours remaining over the next two days to lay out their case against Trump's alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

Putin foe Bill Browder was warned of potential danger in Davos

Photo: Julia Reinhart/Getty Images

No story caused a bigger stir in Davos this week than the news that two suspected Russian spies had been caught in August posing as plumbers in the Alpine town.

Between the lines: One prominent attendee instantly suspected a personal connection. Bill Browder, a U.S.-born financier and long-standing thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin, tells Axios that before departing for Davos he received a warning from the British security services — passed along by their Swiss counterparts — that he could be in danger.

Go deeperArrow5 hours ago - World

Chinese cities cancel Lunar New Year events amid Wuhan coronavirus outbreak

People in Guangzhou, China, wearing masks on public transportation. Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

25 people have died from an outbreak of a new coronavirus strain that originated in Wuhan, China, including the first outside the immediate area, provincial authorities said Thursday.

The latest: Major cities in China, including Beijing, have canceled large public gatherings for the Lunar New Year holiday, the most important in the country, to help contain the outbreak, according to the Washington Post.

Go deeperArrowJan 20, 2020 - World