Last week, U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., championed a proposal to “make permanent the current drilling moratorium off the coast of Florida.”
Castor introduced the “Florida Coastal Protection Act,” which “would protect all of Florida’s coastlines from future catastrophic oil spills by permanently banning oil and gas drilling approximately 235 miles off of Florida’s Gulf Coast, approximately 275 miles off Florida’s Atlantic Coast and in the Straits of Florida.”
While then President Donald Trump issued an executive order preventing drilling off Florida through July 2032, it can be reversed by another executive order.
“In the Sunshine State, clean water and our beautiful beaches are central to our way of life and the cornerstones of our economy, and we know that oil and gas drilling can devastate both our environment and economy. With our bipartisan bill, Congress has an opportunity to permanently protect our coastal beaches and communities from dangerous offshore drilling,” Castor said.
“Allowing drilling off of Florida’s coasts would be a colossal mistake,” Buchanan said. “As we learned from the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil explosion in 2010, our state cannot afford another spill that would threaten our economy, our environment and our way of life. As co-chair of the 30-member bipartisan Florida congressional delegation, I will continue working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect the state’s pristine coasts and beautiful waterways.”
Other cosponsors besides Buchanan include Florida Democrats U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel, Maxwell Frost, Jared Moskowitz, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson and U.S. Rep. Richard McCormick, R-Ga.
Castor’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. So far, there is no companion bill in the U.S. Senate.
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