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Lawmakers sending letter to Zinke to oppose offshore drilling

Lawmakers sending letter to Zinke to oppose offshore drilling
© Getty Images

Two Florida lawmakers are teaming up to oppose the Trump administration's proposed plan to expand offshore drilling around the state, citing the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenHouse Hispanic Republicans welcome four new members The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by UAE - US records 1 million COVID-19 cases in a week; governors crack down Trump-backed Republican unseats Shalala in Miami House race MORE (R-Fla.) announced Thursday evening on Twitter that she would join Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots The Hill's Morning Report - Biden inches closer to victory Senate Democrats want to avoid Kavanaugh 2.0 MORE's (D-Fla.) letter to Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior shortlist puts focus on New Mexico lawmakers | Progressives criticize Biden transition over volunteer who represented Exxon | Trump DOJ appointees stalled investigation into Zinke: report Trump DOJ appointees stalled investigation into Zinke: report GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte wins Montana governor's race MORE opposing any expansion of offshore drilling in Florida after the administration said it would sharply expand offshore drilling.

"Signed @SenBillNelson letter to @SecretaryZinke @Interior opposing any opening of #Florida to offshore drilling in order to prevent a disaster similar to the #DeepwaterHorizon spill," Ros-Lehtinen wrote on Twitter. "I hope many more #Florida members join!"

Nelson attacked the Trump administration's decision in a Twitter post earlier Thursday, vowing to defeat any plans to expand drilling in Florida.

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"This plan is an assault on Florida’s economy, our national security, the will of the public, and the environment. This proposal defies all common sense and I will do everything I can to defeat it," Nelson tweeted.

Nelson has vowed to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the Trump administration from changing Obama-era guidelines on oil rig inspections put in place after the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 that killed 11 people and sent at least 4.9 million barrels of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.

“The BP spill devastated my state's economy and 11 people lost their lives,” Nelson said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “That's why I plan to subject this misguided rule to the Congressional Review Act.”

Any use of the CRA to block the proposed rule changes, which have not yet been finalized, would be likely to fail, as the CRA overturn would require the president's signature to take effect.

Republicans have used the CRA under President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE to overturn many Obama-era regulations on businesses.