Last month's announcement by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that Florida is "off the table" for offshore drilling is not legally binding, according to legal experts here in Florida.
One of those experts, University of Florida Law Professor Alyson Flournoy, says it could actually make things worse for the Sunshine State.
"Secretary Zinke's comments afford no legal protection to Florida," she said. "The irony is that they make it harder to ultimately defend any decision that does exclude Florida from the leasing program."
Democrats have accused Zinke and Governor Rick Scott of colluding over the announcement to help Scott's upcoming run for the US Senate run.
Tampa Congresswoman Katy Castor says they've thrown a wrench into the process.