Donald Trump returns to White House 02 01 2018
Washington CNN  — 

President Donald Trump traveled to battleground Florida Tuesday for an event touting his environmental accomplishments, even as his administration has worked extensively to dismantle key environmental protections.

Trump delivered the remarks at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum in Jupiter, Florida, just north of his private club, Mar-a-Lago, located in Palm Beach.

The trip, Trump’s 11th visit to Florida this year, according to deputy press secretary Judd Deere, was billed as outlining the administration’s “continued conservation and environmental protection efforts in the region,” citing the Great American Outdoors Act and “funding of countless environmental restoration projects.”

But the Trump administration has also taken detailed steps to slash environmental regulations over the last three and a half years. Those changes include pulling out of the landmark Paris climate accords, rolling back regulations on carbon emission standards for coal-fired power plants, the largest reduction in the boundaries of protected land in US history, and changes to Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act protections.

And earlier this year, Trump announced regulatory changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, a change that will speed up approval of federal projects such as mines, highways, water infrastructure, and gas pipelines – effectively weakening what’s considered to be a landmark conservation law.

At the event in Florida on Tuesday, Trump signed an executive action extending a ban on offshore drilling on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The action also expanded the moratorium to include Florida’s Atlantic coast as well as the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina.

“Thanks to my administration’s pro-American energy policies, we can take this step and the next step while remaining the number one producers of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world,” Trump claimed.

In 2018, the administration backed off an initial offshore drilling proposal near Florida, saying it would not bring oil and gas drilling there after vocal opposition from then-Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, and other coastal state governors.

Then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told CNN at the time the decision to exempt Florida’s waters was due to its unique coastline.

“The coastal currents are different, the layout of where the geology is,” Zinke had said.

In an interview with Spectrum News during a trip to Tampa in August, Trump indicated he would extend the ban on drilling in the area.

“Well, we’re not gonna be drilling, and I’ve already put out that order – actually quite a while ago. But we can’t do that. And the people of Florida just don’t want it. You know, there are some states that don’t mind it, but Florida does. And I live here too, and I vote here. And I will tell you that’s not going to be happening,” he said.

CNN’s Maegan Vazquez, Ellie Kaufman, Gregory Wallace and Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.