Castor Calls for Permanent Ban on Oil Drilling Off Florida Coast
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor made her remarks after learning that Florida is not off the table for oil drilling.
WASHINGTON, DC – At a hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources on Friday (Jan. 19), Walter Cruickshank, acting director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said Florida is not off the table for offshore drilling activities, contradicting Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s tweeted statement just a few days before.
“I am concerned that Secretary Zinke’s decision may be subject to legal challenge because he rushed to make the announcement prior to taking evidence and comment and following the proscribed administrative process,” U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, said. “The final Interior Department agency action may be open to a challenge that is was arbitrary. I hope not.
“The only way to fully protect Florida’s economy and environment from the risk of oil drilling off of our beaches is to extend the moratorium permanently in law. The moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is scheduled to end in 2022 and Congress must enact a law to ban offshore drilling off of the Florida coast once and for all. Extending this moratorium will ensure that there is no question that Florida is off the table from drilling and not at the mercy of politicians like Gov. Rick Scott and President Donald Trump who have flip flopped on the issue.”
Cruickshank’s statement came in response to questioning from the panel’s U.S. Rep Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, and raises serious questions about who sets drilling policy for the nation’s coastlines, Castor said. BOEM is part of the Interior Department, which regulates the nation’s offshore energy production and would be directly involved in any new offshore drilling operations in federal waters.
Castor has opposed oil drilling off of Florida’s coast throughout her time in Congress. She is author of the bipartisan Florida Coastal Protection Act, cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Naples, which would ban drilling off the Florida coast permanently.
Castor represents Florida’s 14th Congressional District, which includes Tampa and a portion of Hillsborough County.
For information about Castor, go to castor.house.gov.
Kathy Castor | Offshore Drilling | Oil Drilling | Offshore Oil Drilling | Rick Scott | Donald Trump | Darren Soto | Francis Rooney | Tampabay News
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