Oil Drilling on Florida’s Coast: "Unacceptable" An environmental Fire-Sale has started in Washington. Legislation in Washington will place gas and oil rigs just miles off of Florida’s Coast

(Washington, DC)  —  Rep. Wasserman Schultz released the following statement in response to legislation passed out of the House Resources Committee yesterday that would open up drilling, within 90 days of passage, as close as three miles off shore:

“Not only does this legislation dismantle the bi-partisan ban on offshore drilling, but it provides a financial incentive for states to do so,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.  “As if the initial legislation were not bad enough, the amendment by Rep. Peterson (R-PA), passed by the House Resources Committee yesterday, would allow drilling just three miles off of Florida‘s shores.”

“Today we saw the House of Representatives vote to weaken the Endangered Species Act and now we see legislation going to the floor next week that will allow drilling just three miles off of Florida’s coast,” Rep. Wasserman Schultz said.  “If animals like the Manatee and the Florida Panther are not finished off by the dismantling of the Endangered Species Act, then maybe they will be made extinct by oil spills occurring just miles off our shores.”

“There is an environmental fire-sale going on in Washington right now,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.  “Today it is ANWAR and Florida‘s Coast, proposed future legislation would open up our national parks, nothing is off the table now.”

On September 28, 2005, legislation was introduced by Rep. Pombo (R-CA), and passed out of the House Resources Committee, that would provide financial incentives to states to end the federal moratorium on drilling off the outer-continental shelf.  An amendment to the legislation was introduced by Rep. Peterson (R-PA), that would allow for drilling as close as three miles off the coast.  The “Peterson amendment” passed out of committee by a voice vote.  The legislation will come to a vote on the full floor of the House of Representatives next week.