Rick Scott voiced opposition soon after the plan's January 4 release, a letter submitted by the state Department of Environmental Protection a year ago did not oppose the drilling plan or ask for Florida to be exempted.
Zinke said his decision to exempt Florida was because its coasts are unique and high tourist attractions.
Twenty minutes after that, Scott made the announcement that Florida would not be the place for offshore drilling.
Pressure from governor Rick Scott has apparently signalled a change of heart from the Trump Administration, whose Interior Department said last week more than 90% of the United States coastline was up for grabs to oil and gas exploration.
The Collier County Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday in support of Congressman Francis Rooney's efforts to stop a proposal to expand oil drilling off the coast of Florida.
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Environmentalist group Oceana said it hopes the White House hears complaints from other states - that might not have a GOP chief executive like Scott.
"The Trump Administration, through their decision on Florida, has admitted that offshore drilling is a threat to coastal economies and tourism. Because we all like to go out to our beaches and enjoy them", Scott said.
"Florida is obviously unique", Zinke said.
The statement prompted a flurry of responses from governors of other coastal states, who queried why Florida should be the only state spared from the possibility of a disastrous oil spill and other harm caused to the marine environment and communities that depend upon fishing or tourism.
"This proposal came out of the Trump administration".
On Wednesday, the administration chose to exempt Florida waters after a meeting between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Zinke.
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The announcement also comes at a pivotal time for Scott, who is widely rumored to be contemplating a bid for U.S. Senate later this year.
The move also drew condemnation from many top California officials, including Gov.
And a spokesperson for Charlie Baker, the popular Republican governor of MA, said Wednesday that he opposes Trump's plan to allow offshore drilling up the East Coast.
"Mr. President, I must say I've seen political games being played with trying to drill off of the coast of Florida", said U.S. Sen.
"I am not aware of any political favor that would have been part of", Huckabee Sanders said.
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Early on Wednesday, Newsom punched out a couple of tweets directed at Zinke that appeared to highlight that the Interior Secretary is a flaming partisan hypocrite hell-bent on fulfilling the Trump mandate to punish blue states, regardless of the appearance of flaming partisan hypocrisy.