President Donald Trump walks to greet Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he arrives at West Palm Beach International Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump walks to greet Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as he arrives at West Palm Beach International Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In 2018, Trump reversed the Obama-Biden ban on offshore drilling. But 56 days from the election and down in the polls, the president changed his mind.

President Donald Trump reversed course and banned offshore drilling in Florida on Tuesday, after lifting the Obama-Biden administration’s ban on offshore drilling in 2018.

Trump made the announcement less than two months from Election Day, in a crucial battleground state where he has been consistently down in the polls. The executive order also banned offshore drilling off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina.

Trump called himself “the great environmentalist” during the campaign stop, but in 2018, Trump announced that he would allow new offshore drilling on nearly all US waters. He did not explain why he reversed himself in his speech today. According to Politico, the announcement was news to staffers on Capitol Hill who said they had received no information about the news prior to the campaign stop. 

In response to the announcement, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden noted Trump’s flip-flop on offshore drilling. 

Biden has long supported a ban on offshore drilling. And while Trump’s agenda for his second term includes nothing on climate, Biden has released a series of plans to reduce pollution and create clean energy jobs for Americans. He has also pledged to invest in clean infrastructure and research to help tackle the climate crisis. 

“If executed strategically, our response to climate change can create more than 10 million well-paying jobs in the United States that will grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class enjoyed by communities across the country, not just in cities along the coasts,” Biden wrote in his plan. 

Biden has been working to address issues related to climate change for more than 30 years. In 1986, he introduced his first climate-change bill, called the Global Climate Protection Act. During his time in the Obama administration, he joined the president in supporting massive investments into clean energy, limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and joining the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement last year and has reversed many Obama-Biden administration policies to reduce pollution.