Today, Congressman Charlie Crist (FL-13) joined U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor (FL-14), Francis Rooney (FL-19), and Vern Buchanan (FL-16) in reintroducing the Florida Coastal Protection Act to ban drilling off of Florida's coasts. The bipartisan bill would make permanent the current federal moratorium on offshore activities set to expire in June of 2022, and extends the recently approved state moratorium to federal waters. Governor at the time of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Crist has been a leader in the fight to protect Florida from offshore drilling and exploration on both the state and federal levels.
“Florida voters spoke clearly in November: no drilling off our coasts,” said U.S. Rep. Crist. “Our job is to be their voice in Washington, sending that same message loud and clear with this bill to block harmful drilling and exploration off of Florida. We cannot afford another disaster devastating our waters, health, and economy.”
“Plain and simple, we must protect our state’s natural resources and our economy linked to our environment and treat climate change like the crisis that it is. We also have a moral obligation to be better stewards for our children and future generations. A moratorium on oil drilling off the coast of Florida through my bipartisan Florida Coastal Protection Act is integral to accomplishing these inextricable goals,” said U.S. Rep. Castor, the bill's lead sponsor and who was recently named by Speaker Pelosi to lead the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
“The people of Florida are clearly opposed to offshore drilling. The November 2018 ballot contained a ban on offshore drilling, Amendment 9, which won with over 68% in favor. This widespread support is a clear indication that voters are overwhelmingly in support of Florida coastal protection. As Floridians, we are well aware that our livelihood depends on a pristine environment,” U.S. Rep. Rooney said.
“Allowing drilling off of Florida’s pristine coasts would be a colossal mistake,” said U.S. Rep. 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.”