I just received this e-mail from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.):
Thank you for joining more than 9,000 fellow Floridians and concerned Americans who signed the petition on my website in support of maintaining the drilling moratoria and dropping the seismic oil and gas inventory provision from the final version of the 2005 energy bill.
Earlier this summer, with your help, we won a hard-fought agreement with Senate leadership to maintain a moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the coast of Florida. It even includes a large area of the Gulf known as Lease Sale 181 that previously was unprotected by the ban.
But despite my vehement opposition, drilling proponents in the Senate were able to get language in the just-passed energy bill that allows for an inventory of oil and gas resources in the Gulf of Mexico—widely considered a precursor to drilling. Such efforts jeopardize Florida’s $50-billion-a-year tourism industry and also encroach on military pilot training operations in waters off our state—just two reasons why I voted against the energy bill.
As I’ve said before, America cannot drill its way to energy independence—and we’re not sacrificing our valuable coastline to increase the oil industry’s bottom line. With your support, I will remain vigilant and continue my fight to keep the oil rigs away from Florida’s coast.
Only 9,000 people signed the on-line petition? Out of 18 million Floridians and 270 million other potentially “concerned Americans”?
That is so slack.
One thought on “Florida Deserves Oil Rigs Off Its Beaches”
Jeb Bush has gone on record to say he has not changed his mind about drilling,and the spat about the political realities of drilling have to be negociated. But has in not talking about his January 2002 DEP challenge to the EPA about environmental standards dealing with offshore drilling. And recent federal GAO reports called most notably “Storm Water Pollution.”
The DEP deputy director at that time doing the report was our newer PSC Commissioner Lisa Edgar. Six pages of challenging the EPA from Struh’s DEP and the Pinellas County Commission Ms. Todd were detailed about review of water quality. Environmental impacts of deep water habitats shows information was often limited. “The knowledge of deepwater benthric resouces in the proposed sale area is based on limite studies conducted many years ago,” her report says. And also “operational discharges from the use of synthetic drilling muds and large volumes of industrial chemicals used in deepwater drilling operations should be analyzed to better understand their potential problems…”
The conversations about Florida’s “Loop current” that swings contaminants over to our West was evident in this report. From Hurricane Katrina’s Louisiana debris, this was reported in local newspaper reports from some University scientists. It should not be ignored.
But before the hurricanes, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report Storm Water Pollution, April 2005. There are few “reported problems” according to the GAO study, but they say several times in the report with the permitting process from the gas and oil Industry that the “financial and environmental implications are difficult to quantify.” Why? Well, because the number of drilling sites and the lack of review from the Bureau of Land Management!
According to the report, Louisiana Texas and Oklahoma, in a twelve month period had 433 contruction activities. Over 70% were oil and gas pipeline activities. The report cited problems with endangered species and their habitats will have levels of sediment in water from drilling. “Difficult to quantify ” is stated many times, as well as “storm water runoff can lead to suface water degradation ” and harmful polutants deposited in streams lakes and waterways.
And then a June 2005 GAO report stated that the increased permitting activity from oil and gas exploration has lessened the ability for the Bureau of Land Management “to meet it’s environmental protection obligations.” Stating the number of drilling permits has TRIPLED from the last five years . The BLM is short staffed, with staff spending more time “processing drilling permits” and less time for mitigation activities such as “inspections and idle well reviews.”
As you can tell, we are not prepared to accurately deal with the problems that could occur if a problem happens. As normal drilling permit and work activities are not honestly being communicated by the leaders that should know the truth. We are not taking the time to discuss problems. We are just hearing, “Trust me.” So,I am praying for the future financial viability of Florida.