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offshore oil drilling

Stock photo of an oil drilling rig.
Wikipedia

The House approved legislation Wednesday that would permanently bar drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and extend a moratorium on drilling off Florida's west coast.

Coastal lawmakers from both parties said the bills would protect U.S. coasts from drilling that can pollute crucial waters — and lead to disasters such as the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

A national group is ramping up its efforts to get the Trump administration to open up much of the nation's offshore waters to oil drilling - including Florida's.

They include former Republican Party Chairman Jim Nicholson and former Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp. This week, group leaders are pushing their idea to businesses throughout the state.

A bipartisan group of Florida representatives is pushing to end offshore oil drilling in Florida for good. New legislation would permanently extend a federal moratorium that is set to expire in 2022.

Gov. Rick Scott says Florida is “off the table for oil drilling.”

Wikimedia

Anyone interested in moves by the Trump Administration to relax restrictions on offshore drilling can have their voices heard by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As part of a series of listening sessions across the county, NOAA is coming to USF St. Petersburg at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, to talk about the health and status of our coastal waters.

Florida Delegation Holds Hearing On Oil Drilling

May 15, 2018

Visit Florida President Ken Lawson and Brig. Gen. Evan Dertien, commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, are among scheduled panelists for a Florida congressional delegation hearing Thursday on drilling off the state’s coasts.

Florida Leaders Blast Oil Drilling Changes

Apr 30, 2018

Members of Florida’s congressional delegation from both sides of the political aisle denounced a White House proposal Friday that they say would weaken offshore oil-drilling regulations.

Florida’s nearshore waters would be off limits to future oil and gas drilling under a measure that is moving closer to appearing before voters in November.

Wikipedia.org

Florida’s nearshore waters would be off limits to future oil and gas drilling under a measure that moved closer Tuesday to appearing before voters in November. 

It has been almost an article of faith in Florida politics: residents do not want oil drilling off the state’s coasts.

But poll results released Thursday suggest that a drilling ban might not have enough voter support to go into the Florida Constitution.

Stock photo of an oil drilling rig.
Wikipedia

“The Trump Administration is playing games with Florida’s coast.”

That was the warning from Jennifer Rubiello, state director of environmental advocacy group, Environment Florida. She was speaking at a press conference Thursday that discussed Florida’s status when it comes to offshore oil drilling.

The Trump administration's promise to exempt Florida from an offshore drilling plan is not a formal action, an Interior Department official said Friday in a statement that Democrats said contradicted a high-profile announcement by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The Trump administration says it plans to open most U.S. waters to offshore oil drilling, and that’s raising bipartisan hackles in Florida.

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that would open up areas off the West Coast and the Northeast Unites States to oil drilling. The executive order would reverse an Obama-era ban on drilling.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson stopped in Ft. Myers to talk about why offshore drilling is bad for Florida. Speaking at Page Field airport’s base operations building, he outlined reasons why oil extraction shouldn’t be allowed off the Gulf coast.

Nelson’s visit comes amidst talks that the Trump administration plans to undo Obama-era bans of offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson today filed a bill that would extend the moratorium on oil drilling off Florida's Gulf of Mexico coast. The move comes the day after the fifth anniversary of the BP oil spill. 

The bill would extend the moratorium on drilling at least 125 miles off Florida's Gulf Coast until 2027. The ban currently is in place until 2022, but last week, another senator from Louisiana moved to repeal it. The bill by Sen. Bill Cassidy would allow oil rigs at least 75 miles closer to Florida's western coastline.

Marine scientists from across the globe are joining a growing number of Floridians opposed to oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast.

In a letter made public Thursday, the 75 scientists warn the seismic testing would have a widespread and long-lasting impact on marine life.

The U.S. is in the middle of an oil drilling boom that few people saw coming. After decades of decline, crude oil production is rising again. Technologies such as hydraulic fracturing in places such as North Dakota are getting a lot of attention. But the Gulf of Mexico still accounts for more than one-fifth of domestic oil production.

BP is ending its cleanup of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in three Gulf Coast states this month, leaving Louisiana as the only state with ongoing cleanup linked to the company's Deepwater Horizon Response effort. Reports of oil sightings in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida will soon be the U.S. Coast Guard's responsibility to investigate.

For NPR's Newscast unit, Debbie Elliott reports:

It's another bad day for the Justice Department.

A federal judge in Louisiana has thrown out the central criminal charge against a former BP executive because prosecutors failed to prove he knew about a pending congressional investigation into oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico three years ago. U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt also ruled that a Democratic House member who inquired about the oil flow rate was acting as head of a subcommittee, not a full congressional committee, as required under the federal Obstruction of Justice statute.

The massive Gulf oil spill may be receding into our collective memory. But a group of people want to keep the specter of offshore oil drilling fresh in people's minds. So they plan to gather at Florida's beaches at noon Saturday.

This will be the third straight year "Hands Across the Sands" is taking place. People will gather hands on dozens of beaches to not only protest offshore drilling, but promote the use of clean energy.