John Rutherford Introduces Bill Stopping Drilling Off Florida Until 2032

This week, U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., introduced the “Preserving Recreation, Oceans, Tourism, Environment, and Coastal Towns (PROTECT) Florida Act.”

More than half of the members of the Florida delegation in the U.S. House are backing the proposal which “creates a drilling moratorium in the South Atlantic and the Straits of Florida and extends until 2032 the existing drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Rutherford weighed in on Tuesday on why he introduced the bill.

“Floridians know the importance of safeguarding our many coastal communities and unique tourism industry,” said Rutherford. “We’ve already seen how an oil spill can be an environmental disaster for the ecosystem and decimate coastal economies. The PROTECT Florida Act will prevent drilling and seismic testing off Florida shores for ten years, codifying this important protection into law instead of relying on federal regulations that can change at any time. I’m proud to be joined by a bipartisan coalition to say ‘no’ to offshore drilling.”

U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Kat Cammack, R-Fla., Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Val Demings, D-Fla., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla, Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Scott Franklin, R-Fla., Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., Brian Mast, R-Fla., Bill Posey, R-Fla., Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., Darren Soto, D-Fla., and Michael Waltz, R-Fla., are co-sponsoring the bill.

Rutherford’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee this week. So far, there is no companion measure in the U.S. Senate.

Kevin Derby
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