WASHINGTON – Democrat Bill Nelson’s concession to Republican Governor Rick Scott in the Florida Senate race means sunshine state citizens are losing a longtime fighter for Florida’s environment and strong opponent of offshore drilling. Floridians made clear the importance of this issue in passing a ballot initiative to ban drilling in state waters, and drilling figured prominently in the midterm election campaign. Republican Governor-elect Ron DeSantis vowed to work with the Trump administration to “ensure that oil drilling never occurs off Florida’s coastlines,” and Rick Scott promised to oppose the inclusion of Florida in the Trump administration’s forthcoming 5-year leasing plan.
The following is a statement from Ana Unruh Cohen, managing director for government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“Communities along the coast and across the country—Democrats and Republicans alike—have made their opposition to drilling clear. With Florida feeling the fallout from an environmental crisis along its coast, and with the U.S. experiencing ever more extreme weather events fueled by carbon pollution, the time is now for leadership in opposing offshore oil and gas drilling. Senator Nelson was always a champion for our coasts. We look forward to working with the Florida delegation to protect the state’s beaches and economy from crippling oil spills, and to safeguard the country from the harms of expanded drilling.”
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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.