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Press Release

Reps. Castor, Buchanan Reintroduce Legislation to Protect Gulf of Mexico and Florida’s Coasts Through Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling

Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) reintroduced her bipartisan Florida Coastal Protection Act with Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL16) to make permanent the moratorium on oil drilling off Florida’s coast.

“We must do all we can to protect and improve the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and our oceans. 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,” said Rep. Castor. “In the waning days of the 2020 election, President Trump issued an executive order to temporarily ban drilling off Florida. President Biden took action early in his tenure to launch a rigorous review of all existing leasing and permitting related to fossil fuel development – good news for Florida. But Florida’s economy deserves permanent protection. Without Congressional action, executive orders can be reversed. For Florida, our economy, our sea life, our coasts, our way of life and our future generations, I call on our colleagues in the House and the Senate to pass our bill and send it to President Biden’s desk.

“Allowing drilling off of Florida’s coasts would be a colossal mistake,” Rep. 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.”

U.S. Rep. Castor has introduced legislation to keep oil drilling away from Florida throughout her tenure in Congress. The Gulf of Mexico BP Horizon disaster was a wake-up call for many who urged “drill, baby, drill.”  She was active and outspoken against BP during the Deepwater Horizon oil blowout disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, which impacted Florida’s beaches, economy and small businesses. That year, she secured $10 million from BP to support Florida college and university marine research, including the University of South Florida and Sarasota’s Mote Marine Laboratory. Castor introduced the Gulf of Mexico Economic and Environmental Restoration Act to fund long-term economic recovery, environmental restoration and research with the fines and penalties to be paid by BP for its pollution under the Clean Water Act. Extensive bipartisan efforts continued on this legislation in 2011, and in June 2012, Gulf Coast states and the Gulf of Mexico achieved a major victory when the RESTORE Act was passed by Congress.