Press Release

Florida and Coastal States Better Protected from Drilling Threat with Passage of U.S. Rep. Castor's Protecting and Securing Florida's Coastline Act

f t # e
Washington, September 11, 2019 | comments
Florida and coastal states across the country declared a victory today with the passage of H.R. 205, the Protecting and Securing Florida's Coastline Act. Protecting Florida’s beaches and coastal resources has been a part of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s (D-Tampa, Fla.) life work and she sponsored the bipartisan bill with U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Naples, Fla). The landmark bill protects Florida’s way of life and America’s national security by making the moratorium on oil drilling in federal waters off Florida coasts permanent. The moratorium is set expire in 2022. While the Trump administration has worked to open areas in the Gulf of Mexico and coastal areas to drilling, the Democratic-led House of Representatives acted to stop the unneeded and unwanted expansion.
share: f t

Florida and coastal states across the country declared a victory today with the passage of H.R. 205, the Protecting and Securing Florida's Coastline Act.  Protecting Florida’s beaches and coastal resources has been a part of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s (D-Tampa, Fla.) life work and she sponsored the bipartisan bill with U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Naples, Fla).  The landmark bill protects Florida’s way of life and America’s national security by making the moratorium on oil drilling in federal waters off Florida coasts permanent.  The moratorium is set expire in 2022.  While the Trump administration has worked to open areas in the Gulf of Mexico and coastal areas to drilling, the Democratic-led House of Representatives acted to stop the unneeded and unwanted expansion.

“The Trump administration’s efforts to expand offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico threaten to coat our beaches with oil, increase carbon pollution and exacerbate the climate crisis,” said U.S. Rep. Castor.  “By passing my Protecting and Securing Florida's Coastline Act to ban offshore drilling in the Gulf, we are safeguarding our way of life in Florida.”

Economy & Environment Impact, Harm to Military Readiness

The horrific images and damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout are still fresh in the minds of U.S. Rep. Castor’s neighbors and all Floridians nine years after the worst oil disaster in U.S. history.  U.S. Rep. Castor was a defender of the Gulf and Tampa Bay and Florida’s way of life before and an outspoken critic of BP following the disaster.  She fought to hold BP accountable.  One of her top priorities in Congress has always been to protect the Gulf of Mexico and Florida communities from threats and she redoubled her efforts as Trump and the oil lobbyists working in the administration moved to allow dirty and dangerous drilling in our most precious coastal areas.

The Department of Defense’s use of the Gulf of Mexico to maintain military readiness has galvanized bipartisan congressional support in opposition to Trump’s push to give his powerful oil and gas corporations free rein to bring dirty oil rigs to the Florida coast.

“Offshore drilling not only has the potential to negatively impact Florida’s economy and natural environment, but it would also have dire consequences to our national security and the readiness of our troops,” U.S. Rep. Castor continued.  “The U.S. military has stated again and again that a moratorium on drilling in the Eastern Gulf – the largest military training facility in the world – is critical to mission readiness activities like training and weapons’ testing that occur there.  Through my Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act, these waters will be free from interference and available for essential training vital to the safety and effectiveness of our warfighters, as well as our national security.”

Floridians Have Made Their Voices Clear

Earlier this year under U.S. Rep. Castor’s leadership, the entire bipartisan Florida congressional delegation demanded that the Department of the Interior take formal action to prohibit drilling off Florida’s coast.  She also led the House of Representatives this summer in passing a bipartisan appropriations amendment to block oil and gas pre-leasing, leasing and related activities in the outer continental shelf planning areas around Florida.

“Floridians are keenly aware of the negative impacts of oil and gas drilling off our coasts.  Just last November, they made it clear that the risk of oil drilling is too much when they voted overwhelmingly in favor of banning drilling in Florida’s waters,” U.S. Rep. Castor said.  “It is clear that we must act now.  The economic, national security and environmental reasons to prohibit oil drilling off of Florida’s coasts are paramount.”

U.S. Rep. Castor has introduced legislation to keep oil drilling away from Florida throughout her tenure in Congress.  As Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, she brings the same level urgency to meeting the challenge of charting a clean and renewable energy future.

###

f t # e