WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday is likely to back an extended ban on offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico off Florida, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Bloomberg said Trump was expected to announce his support during a trip to Florida, one of several states considered crucial in the Nov. 3 election that he will visit this week.
The moratorium on drilling is set to expire in 2022. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a fellow Republican who has a bill to extend it through 2027, said earlier this year he expected Trump to back the proposed extension, despite the administration’s enthusiasm for opening much of the country’s coasts to oil and gas drilling.
Allowing the ban to expire would prompt fierce opposition by coastal tourism, real estate and environmental interests in Florida. It is uncertain whether Congress would have time to extend the ban this year.
Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival in the election, opposes new permits for drilling in federal land and waters.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, neither did the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, an office of the Department of the Interior.
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