Cocoa Beach, Florida, August 4th, 2012 – Today I joined the Cocoa Beach chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the Hands Across the Sand organization to support the ban of offshore oil drilling in Federal and State waters around Florida in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The event had a modest turnout with a hundred or so supporters turning out to clean litter from the beach and to hold hands at noon forming a human chain in support of the current oil drilling ban by the Obama Administration.
According to William Gibson, Washington Bureau, in February of 2012, House Republicans, including seven from Florida, voted to end the ban on drilling along Florida’s west coast. But the bill has almost no chance of becoming law. It would open parts of the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coastline in Alaska to oil rigs. The battle to open up the Florida coastline to oil drilling has begun
According to Tony Sasso, Cocoa Beach chapter of the Surfrider Foundation member, there is a quite movement at the state capital to approve oil drilling in Florida waters. If given the go-ahead by the Florida Legislature, offshore oil drilling will be allowed within the 3 mile limit. At this there is a Federal law prohibits offshore oil drilling closer than 11 miles off the Gulf Coast shore line of Florida.
The citizens of Florida need to understand that our precious coast line is under attack by the oil and gas industry, lobbyist in Washington and Republican politicians. As a resident of Florida, I want to have the chance to vote on near-shore oil drilling and to ban the possibility of this destructive practice. The Florida economy relies on clean beaches to maintain and increase tourist who come to Florida for our water sports. Oil drilling off our beaches, within the 3 mile limit, is simply too great a risk to take. Unfortunately, there is silent movement in Tallahassee of elected politicians working to change the oil drilling ban.
According to Save our Seas, Beaches and Shores, Inc. (SOSBS): “Floridians asked the Legislature, at the Special Session held in July 2010, to place the issue before the voters. Unfortunately, the Legislature did not agree to allow Floridians to vote to amend the State Constitution in the November 2010 general election. In light of the inaction of the Legislature, and to forestall any future attempt to allow near-shore oil drilling, we have created Save our Seas, Beaches and Shores, Inc. (SOSBS) to coordinate a citizens’ petition drive to place the ban on the November 2012 ballot. This will not be easy. We will need approximately 700,000 verified petitions. As of today, we have received approval for the Constitutional Amendment Petition Form from the Department of State, Division of Elections.”
Please go to the SOSBS web site and download and print a copy of the petition. Sign and mail as soon as possible. Also tell your friends to do the same. We need to keep Florida shorelines and seas clean from oil and gas drilling.
Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day on the water.