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Ben Geman Jan 10
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Decision to back off Florida drilling plan makes waves

Line of people stretches across Pensacola beach in the June 2010 Hands Across the Sand protest against Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Line of people stretches across Pensacola beach in the June 2010 Hands Across the Sand protest against the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision late yesterday to remove all of Florida from the agency’s new offshore oil-and-gas leasing plan is immediately roiling the politics — and may complicate the legal future — of the sweeping proposal.

Why it matters: This announcement, which followed a meeting with GOP Florida Gov. Rick Scott, happened as the ink was still drying on the Trump administration's draft plan released last week. It takes away all of an area — the eastern Gulf of Mexico off Florida — that the industry has long had interest in exploring. And, some say it was decided rather arbitrarily and could become part of expected legal battles over the plan.