Trump signs order banning oil drilling off Florida's Atlantic coast

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Speaking at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, Trump said his administration is "proving everyday that we can improve our environment while creating millions of high-paying jobs".

The executive order, which would also expand the ban to Florida's Atlantic coast and to the coasts of Georgia and SC, was met with an unusual mix of disappointment from a drilling industry group and skepticism by environmentalists.

Trump's announcement of the offshore drilling ban expansion opens the president up to charges of an election-year flip-flop given that he acted in January 2018 to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans. Florida is one of several states considered crucial in the election that Trump is slated to visit this week.

Bloomberg said Trump was expected to announce his support during a trip to Florida, one of several states considered crucial in the November 3 election that he will visit this week. Trump arrived in Jupiter by motorcade.

The president also discussed his call for additional funding for Everglades revitalization and addressing algae-causing run-off from Lake Okeechobee that has forced beach closures, reported AP. He withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, a global agreement to address the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. "To my administration, environmental protection is a sacred obligation".

Trump replaced Obama's Clean Power Plan aimed at slashing greenhouse gas pollution from electric plants and eased automobile fuel economy standards.

Environmental groups and former EPA chiefs from both parties have criticized Trump's environmental record. He contended Trump had reined in an agency that had lost sight of its core mission. Jaclyn Lopez, a Florida native with the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, said "this desperate political stunt won't make Floridians forget that Trump was the one that proposed opening our state to drilling in the first place".

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