Offshore drilling

Sam Turken / WLRN News

More than 150 beachgoers, activists and elected officials joined hands at noon Saturday on the shore of Miami Beach to call for more environmental stewardship and to protest against offshore oil drilling and fossil fuels.

“What we’ve got are a bunch of people who care about the world, and we’re standing together along the water to say, ‘This is our beach, this our world.' To say, 'Yes to clean renewable energy,'” said Sam Van Leer, president of the non-profit Urban Paradise Guild.

The Trump administration is postponing controversial plans to greatly expand oil and gas drilling off of the nation's coasts, following a recent setback in court and months of pushback from coastal communities.

Last month, a federal judge in Alaska ruled that President Trump exceeded his authority when he signed an executive order to lift an Obama-era ban on oil and gas drilling in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday downplayed growing concerns that President Donald Trump is putting Florida’s coastal waters back in play for oil exploration.

Manuel Balce / AP

The White House is reportedly considering plans to auction off Florida’s coastal waters to search for oil and natural gas.

But that may be a hard sell in the Sunshine state.

Offshore drilling is deeply unpopular in Florida, among both the general public and lawmakers. Even Republicans have warned it could cost the president support in a state that less than six months ago approved a constitutional amendment banning the practice in state waters. 

AP

The Trump Administration has approved the search for oil and natural gas off the Atlantic coast. Late last month, the federal government gave the green light to five applications that allow companies to use seismic testing in different sites, including along part of Florida’s eastern seaboard.

The tests work by using airguns to send sound waves through the water to image the sea floor. The waves then bounce back to deliver information about the location of buried oil and gas.

Gov. Rick Scott says Florida is “off the table for oil drilling.”

Sammy Mack / WLRN

Buried deep in the War-and-Peace-length tome that is this November's Florida ballot, voters will find a question asking if a ban on offshore drilling and a ban on vaping should be codified in the state constitution.

Yup, Amendment 9 is the bundled amendment bringing together e-cigarettes and oil rigs.

In its own words:

NO. 9

CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION

Article II, Section 7

Article X, Section 20

Advocacy Groups Say Florida Parks At Risk By Offshore Drilling

May 24, 2018

Eleven national parks in Florida are threatened by White House proposals to open to oil drilling currently protected parts of the nation’s outer continental shelf and to revise the 2016 Well Control Rule, according to a report released Wednesday by environmental conservation groups. 

Hundreds of opponents of offshore oil drilling gathered at Florida beaches and held hands.

WLRN

Floridians have until March 9 to comment on President Donald Trump's draft proposal program that would allow for offshore drilling and seismic testing off the state's coasts.

Activists will be protesting and gathering comments to submit to the administration in Miami Beach on Sunday at CoastFest, an educational event hosted by Oceana, a non-profit organization that focuses on protecting the world's oceans.

 

Elected officials, business leaders and scientists will join to speak on the impacts of offshore drilling and seismic testing.

One of the most sensitive topics in Florida politics has to do with oil rigs creeping closer to our shores. Recently, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took Florida off the table when it comes to offshore oil drilling. That was lauded by Gov. Rick Scott - but it led to charges he flip-flopped.

Miami Herald

Miami commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to oppose drilling for gas and oil off Florida's coasts.

The vote follows confirmation by the U.S. Department of the Interior that Florida is among states where drilling could be expanded, despite a statement to the contrary by Interior  Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Florida’s offshore drilling concerns have made headlines recently. And now, nearly 80 years into the industry’s existence in Florida, state government officials are searching for some permanency on the issue. 

The Trump administration's promise to exempt Florida from an offshore drilling plan is not a formal action, an Interior Department official said Friday in a statement that Democrats said contradicted a high-profile announcement by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Miami Herald

The offshore drilling rigs that pepper the central Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana and Texas tap some of the nation’s richest oil and natural gas reserves.

That proven and profitable productivity is why the energy industry has pushed for decades to open vast Gulf waters off Florida’s West Coast to exploration and drilling.

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