NRDC Tool Reveals Florida Delegation’s Stances on Offshore Drilling

Jake Thompson, jthompson@nrdc.org, (202) 289-2387
Anne Hawke, ahawke@nrdc.org,
(646) 823-4518

WASHINGTON – The Natural Resources Defense Council is launching a new digital tool today to help the American people track where their governors and members of Congress stand on the Trump administration’s proposal to expose nearly all of our coasts to offshore oil and gas drilling.

The following is a statement from Franz Matzner, Director of Federal Affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Drilling is the last thing Florida needs. The state is already reeling from climate change, not to mention toxic algae and rising sea levels. Producing dirty energy offshore would lock in decades of carbon pollution, putting its coasts and communities at even greater risk.

“This tool gives people a quick way to look up elected officials in the Florida delegation and see where they stand on this issue.  Protecting the state’s $18.4 billion coastal economy is going to require unyielding, united opposition to Trump’s radical oil and gas drilling plan.”

What NRDC’s analysis reveals about the Florida delegation:

Most of the Florida delegation has opposed new offshore drilling – at least regionally. 

Representative Mario Diaz-Balart is the only member of the Florida delegation who has expressed support for new offshore drilling.

Governor Rick Scott, Representative Tom Rooney, and Representative Daniel Webster have not taken an official position.

The following lawmakers have opposed all new drilling: 

  • Senator Bill Nelson;
  • Representative Al Lawson;
  • Representative Stephanie Murphy;
  • Representative Darren Soto;
  • Representative Val Demings;
  • Representative Charlie Crist;
  • Representative Kathy Castor;
  • Representative Alcee Hastings;
  • Representative Lois Frankel;
  • Representative Ted Deutch;
  • Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz;
  • Representative Frederica Wilson.

Six members of Congress have opposed new drilling regionally. 

  • Representative Ted Yoho;
  • Representative John Rutherford;
  • Representative Ron DeSantis;
  • Representative Brian Mast;
  • Representative Francis Rooney;
  • Representative Carlos Curbelo.

The following lawmakers have opposed new drilling only at the state level:

  • Senator Marco Rubio
  • Representative Matt Gaetz;
  • Representative Neal Dunn;
  • Representative Bill Posey;
  • Representative Gus Bilirakis;
  • Representative Dennis Ross;
  • Representative Vern Buchanan;
  • Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

More on the threat drilling poses to Florida:

  • There’s uncertainty about how Trump’s plan affects Florida:  After Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s contradictory statements about whether Florida will be included in the administration’s five-year plan, it’s especially important for Florida’s elected officials to make clear their opposition to exposing the state to the risks of offshore drilling.
     
  • Florida’s ocean waters are home to many vulnerable species, including the Florida manatee, sea turtles and many seabirds—all of whom stand to suffer from seismic exploration and the oil spills that come with offshore drilling.
     
  • Florida has already experienced a catastrophic oil spill.  The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill spanned 1,300 miles, coated many Florida beaches, and inflicted nearly $700 million in lost recreational use and $250 million in commercial fishing losses.

NRDC determined that the order of strength of opposition would be ranked as follows: 1) Voting on offshore drilling amendments in 2018; 2) Co-sponsoring, sponsoring, or signing on to a relevant bill in the 115th Congress; 3) Signing on to a letter or submitting an official comment to the Bureau of Energy Management in 2018. Whichever avenue a member of Congress chose to make their support or opposition clear, NRDC took the extent of that particular geographical specification to determine their designation.

Click on NRDC’s digital tool, “Stop Trump’s Offshore Drilling Assault,” to see where members of Florida’s delegation stand on drilling.

For more on the topic, here is a blog by NRDC’s Alexandra Adams and Franz Matzner.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​

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