The administration's broad approach may be strategic because it could force environmental activists to divide their resources and fight proposed drilling off all US coasts - not just in the eastern Gulf, Arctic waters and the Atlantic Ocean where oil companies are believed to be most interested.
Independent experts are dubious.
Oil industry advocates argue companies need fresh territory beyond the Gulf of Mexico, where drilling has been ongoing for decades and the quest for crude has driven them into deeper waters.
In the meantime, the Trump administration has two economic arguments that buttress the case for more oil and gas production. In March 2016, the Obama administration rescinded drilling leases along the Atlantic coast.
The Trump administration's draft plan, unveiled by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday, would make approximately 90 percent of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf available for lease by energy developers.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday proposed a wide range of petroleum lease sales in US waters including 19 in Alaska and six within Arctic waters.
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But Scott and Nelson rushed Thursday to criticize the Trump administration's announcement that almost all of the nation's outer continental shelf -- a jurisdictional term describing submerged lands 10.36 statutory miles off Florida's west coast and 3 nautical miles off the east coast -- will be considered for drilling.
"We want to grow our nation's offshore energy industry, instead of slowly surrendering it to foreign shores", Zinke said.
Nelson described the plan as "an assault on Florida's economy, our national security, the will of the public and the environment".
Nine of the state's 15 coastal counties, including San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Monterey, already have passed laws upheld by the courts banning construction of onshore oil terminals, pipelines or other oil industry equipment without a public vote.
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The Republican governors of Maryland, South Carolina and Florida oppose offshore drilling and the Democratic governors of California, Oregon and Washington have released a statement condemning the plan.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has requested a meeting with Mr Zinke to discuss his concerns about the plan.
Will the plan be approved?
Lawmakers condemning the proposal Thursday included California Sen. He said the broad proposal is meant to kick off a "lengthy and robust" public comment period.
Eleven people died in the initial explosion on the Deepwater Horizon in 2010, and the resulting oil spill - an estimated total of 4.9 billion barrels over five months - is considered the largest industrial spill in the history of the petroleum industry. Dianne Feinstein said Trump's "reckless "drill, baby, drill" approach threatens our oceans and coasts". Even so, the policy change is a reversal of Obama-era restrictions on oil and gas development.
"Trump has targeted our coast for offshore drilling, jeopardizing our tourism, ecosystems and fisheries while harming people who live along the coast", Jeff Tittel, the club's director, said in a statement.
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