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Why Banning Oil Drilling Miles Offshore Is a Bad Idea

January 21, 2019 - 6:00am

Just days into the new year, some members of the Florida congressional delegation unveiled a proposal to permanently ban oil drilling off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico to federal waters, dozens of miles offshore, far out of sight and away from any fishing or recreational activities. Supporters claim these steps, if approved, will help Floridians. We’re listening to our constituents, they say.

Not many of them.

Floridians spend, on average, more than $2,500 annually on energy expenses. That’s a taxing amount for many, especially the nearly 3 million in poverty statewide who regularly see a dangerously-high, double-digit percentage of their take-home pay go toward energy expenses that could be lower under the right set of policies.

Advocating for an energy plan that increases domestic supplies of all resources -- oil, natural gas, wind and solar, onshore and off, and in the safest methods possible -- is the only way to balance the supply-demand equation and reduce energy expenses for these households, especially as the state’s population increases and energy demand climbs.

It would also increase economic opportunities inland and across the shoreline, via upticks in jobs and tax revenue. This would help put more Floridians back to work and help more families make ends meet. It would also help fund critical municipal services including schools, road repairs and local emergency response personnel, plus aid beautification enhancements.

Thanks to improved techniques and state-of-the-art technologies, plus the safest set of regulations in the world, Florida has what it needs to make and transport its own energy safely. Now, it just needs the right regulatory climate, and this proposal doesn’t cut it.

Kevin Doyle is the Florida state director of Consumer Energy Alliance. He lives in Jacksonville.


Mr. Doyle neglected to mention that one of the main reasons the Florida delegation is supporting legislation to extend the moratorium to ban oil exploration and drilling in the Eastern Gulf is due to the fact these activities are not compatible with the military's test and training mission. The Eastern Gulf Test and Training Range is a national treasure critical to the testing of new weapons systems and aircraft essential to the national defense. While we all support the goal of energy independence, it should not come at the expense of our national defense.

I failed to mention that the Consumer Energy Alliance which Mr. Doyle heads is a front group tied to and representing the oil industry while masquerading as an independent public interest organization. Just google Consumer Energy Alliance for yourself.

Dirty oil is on its way out just like coal. Gradually transitioning away from it is wise as it still has an economic grip on world economies. The horse has left the barn on clean energy options and they oil industry knows this. Trump's last gasp accommodations will be overturned by wiser, more enlightened politicians. Public support is high for abandoning dirty fuels not only because they foul our air, water and food but the future of our planet is not looking good if we don't transition. In Florida keeping drilling as far as possible is wise, prudent and correct. The beaches are the engine of our economy and our clean water can not be risked with fracking. The public has spoken.

I'm not aware that any entity is pushing to drill off our Florida shore now so to me this is a moot point. Don't make laws now that you'll regret later on. I find it a diversionary discussion to keep from having to confront the elephant in the room. Why don't our politicians concentrate on providing funding to secure our southern border and get our government back in business? That doesn't mean push Trump to open the gov't without getting the needed funding to build barriers at our southern border. It isn't "Trump's" wall; It is OUR WALL or barrier or drone or whatever!!! I'm sick of the childish behavior of our supposed leaders who just want to stamp their feet and try to appear relevant. So stupid.

The article's about oil drilling, oil drilling, not Trump . . . . . . but since you raised it, who thinks that shutting down the government as a hostage-taking bargaining tool is an ethical means to negotiate while endangering our safety, 800,000+ personal finances and our country . . . . . . . . . . solely to have your own way like some petulant 4-year old . . . . . . . . . it's Trump's shutdown . . . . . he owned it, he forced it to happen, so stop whining . . . . . . . Trump simply needs a time-out in the corner without Air Force 1, without any staff, without any hamburgers . . . . . . . . . to state it's someone else's fault is simply . . . . . . denying reality and . . . . . . . . . clearly . . . . . . . . . .PATHETIC . . .

There have been several votes to provide funding for federal employees paychecks during the partial shutdown. The Democrats defeated all of them.

Your response looks pretty dumb now after Trump's capitulation, now doesn't it . . . . . . . . . . . the far right in self denial . . . . . . . . always . . . . PATHETIC

No drilling. Onshore, offshore, no drilling. Period! What's with the blivets who keep saying it's good? Bought and paid for by the energy sector. No drilling. No drilling. No drilling. SSN needs to quit giving those useless eaters a platform to spout their nonsense!

STOP THE "DRILLING" for oil & narural gas in waters ANYWHERE & EVERYWHERE off ANY part of Florida's coastline..! Thieving Federal POLITICIANS will only SELL those prospective recovered "natural resources" on the "Global Market" in order to "cover up" their constant everyday waste of America's economic wealth !

Clearly, the voting public of this state strongly disagree with you (e.g. recent Constitutional amendment) . . . . . . . . . as a scientist who has worked extensively offshore of Florida mapping marine resources, perhaps you can respond to two issues: (1) Can you GUARANTEE that no "accidents" will happen offshore from these activities, and that NO marine resources will be harmed in any manner from any of these exploratory and operational activities . . . . . . . . . and (2) Exactly which coastal and shoreline areas of Florida can EXPERIENCE a major "accident" and not adversely affect important marine/coastal resources, water quality, tourism, fisheries, or offshore nursery areas important for fisheries . . . . . . . . . if you believe either of these questions is unfair or unlikely events, then back that up by showing us that such accidents have not happened in U.S. waters over the past few decades and never caused significant impacts . . . . . . . . . obviously, you can't (i.e. in the 50 years since 1969, we've had at least 44 significant oil spills over 10,000 barrels - 0.42 million gallons, not to mention other types of "accidents"; additionally, it should be noted that the recent 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout impacting Florida was the largest spill "EVER"). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to argue that such risks are acceptable when the state's environment has still not totally recovered from the harm caused by the last such episode to Florida's coastal area is simply disingenuous . . . . . . . .

My own feeling is that any new oil and gas drilling anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico should be prohibited!

I've been driving my lightweight EV trike pickup, subcars for 26 yrs now at a fraction of a gas version's cost. Mine only cost $1/day for everything including 60 miles of electricity. Tesla is the best car in the world getting 100mpge while kicking but at the track. My solar is producing power at $.04/kwh with no monthly fees either. Fact is we no longer need the oil and it presents a huge danger to our economy both from a spill killing tourism and as GW causing sea level rise.

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