President Trump expanded a ban on new offshore drilling Tuesday, an election-year reversal likely to appeal to voters in Florida and other coastal states. Two years ago, Trump took steps to vastly expand offshore drilling from coast to coast. "This protects your beautiful gulf and your beautiful ocean, and it will for a long time to come," Trump said as he announced the expanded drilling ban during an appearance at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse in Jupiter Fla. The president signed a memorandum instructing the interior secretary to prohibit drilling in the waters off both Florida coasts, and off the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina for a period of 10 years—from July 1, 2022, to June 20, 2032, the AP reports.
The existing moratorium covers the Gulf of Mexico, and Trump said the new one would also cover the Atlantic coast—a significant political concern in coastal states like Florida. At the event, Trump claimed to be the greatest environmental president since Theodore Roosevelt. "Who would have thought? Trump is the great environmentalist," the president said. "You hear that? That’s good, and I am. I am. I believe strongly in it." Biden accused Trump of “conveniently” changing his mind. “Just months ago, Donald Trump was planning to allow oil and gas drilling off the coast of Florida,” Biden tweeted. “Now, with 56 days until the election, he conveniently says that he changed his mind. Unbelievable. You don’t have to guess where I stand: I oppose new offshore drilling.”
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