Most of Florida Congressional Delegation Backs Bill to Permanently Ban Drilling off State’s Coast

This week, the Florida delegation in the U.S. House, led by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., brought back the “Florida Coastal Protection Act” which make the current ban on oil drilling off the Sunshine State’s coast permanent.

The bill cleared the House in the last Congress but did not advance in the U.S. Senate.

With Democrats now in control of the Senate and with President Joe Biden now in the White House, Castor said the bill has a better chance of clearing Congress. Currently, the ban on drilling off Florida is scheduled to end next year.

“Here in the Sunshine State, our natural resources and beautiful beaches are central to our way of life and the cornerstone of our economy. We have seen the devastating impacts of oil and gas drilling off of our shores, and are coming together, Democrats and Republicans, to once again introduce legislation to protect our coast – permanently,” said Castor.

“President Biden took action early in his tenure to pause new oil and gas leasing in public waters and launch a rigorous review of all existing leasing and permitting related to fossil fuel development – good news for Florida,” Castor added. “But without congressional action, we know that executive orders can be reversed. That’s why Congress must vote to fully protect Florida’s economy and environment – we overwhelmingly passed this bill last Congress, and it’s my hope, with a Democratic majority in the Senate, that we can get this bill to President Biden’s desk for signature. The future of our way of life depends on decisive action.”

“Allowing drilling off of Florida’s pristine coasts would be a colossal mistake,” said Buchanan. “Red tide has already plagued the Sunshine State – it would be imprudent to invite the potential for another catastrophic oil spill that would devastate Florida’s economy and environment. As co-chair of the Florida congressional delegation, I will continue working with colleagues in both parties to protect the state’s beautiful coasts and waters.”

Most of the state’s delegation in the House lined up behind the proposal with Florida Democratic U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist, Val Demings, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Al Lawson, Stephanie Murphy, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson and Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Byron Donalds, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Carlos Gimenez, Brian Mast, Bill Posey and John Rutherford co-sponsoring it.

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Monday. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com

This week, the Florida delegation in the U.S. House, led by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., brought back the “Florida Coastal Protection Act” which make the current ban on oil drilling off the Sunshine State’s coast permanent.

The bill cleared the House in the last Congress but did not advance in the U.S. Senate.

With Democrats now in control of the Senate and with President Joe Biden now in the White House, Castor said the bill has a better chance of clearing Congress. Currently, the ban on drilling off Florida is scheduled to end next year.

“Here in the Sunshine State, our natural resources and beautiful beaches are central to our way of life and the cornerstone of our economy. We have seen the devastating impacts of oil and gas drilling off of our shores, and are coming together, Democrats and Republicans, to once again introduce legislation to protect our coast – permanently,” said Castor.

“President Biden took action early in his tenure to pause new oil and gas leasing in public waters and launch a rigorous review of all existing leasing and permitting related to fossil fuel development – good news for Florida,” Castor added. “But without congressional action, we know that executive orders can be reversed. That’s why Congress must vote to fully protect Florida’s economy and environment – we overwhelmingly passed this bill last Congress, and it’s my hope, with a Democratic majority in the Senate, that we can get this bill to President Biden’s desk for signature. The future of our way of life depends on decisive action.”

“Allowing drilling off of Florida’s pristine coasts would be a colossal mistake,” said Buchanan. “Red tide has already plagued the Sunshine State – it would be imprudent to invite the potential for another catastrophic oil spill that would devastate Florida’s economy and environment. As co-chair of the Florida congressional delegation, I will continue working with colleagues in both parties to protect the state’s beautiful coasts and waters.”

Most of the state’s delegation in the House lined up behind the proposal with Florida Democratic U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist, Val Demings, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Al Lawson, Stephanie Murphy, Darren Soto, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson and Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Byron Donalds, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Carlos Gimenez, Brian Mast, Bill Posey and John Rutherford co-sponsoring it.

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Monday. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com

KEVIN DERBY
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1 COMMENT

  1. They vote against it in our state ,but they would want it in some other state !!!!!! We had gas and tugboats hauling it for years !!! People had good jobs, small towns prospered !!!

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