Florida Democrats are slamming offshore drilling, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is asserting that they will do everything in their power to ensure that offshore drilling does not take place in 2019 or beyond.
Taking to twitter to voice her concerns, Rep. Wasserman Schultz commented that “offshore drilling is a threat to ocean health and our state economy.” She added that “Floridians rejected offshore drilling at the ballot box in Nov.” So, “with all members of Florida’s House delegation I’m calling on the federal govt to exempt FL coasts from offshore drilling.”
Last week, 27 Florida lawmakers, the sunshine state’s entire House delegation, joined in an effort to send a letter to David Bernhardt, the acting Interior Secretary, to ensure former Secretary Ryan Zinke’s pledge to exempt the sunshine state from any offshore drilling plans.
The effort is bipartisan, and the lawmakers reminded in the letter that they “remain concerned that no formal action has been taken to prohibit drilling off Florida’s coasts.”
Lawmakers leading the charge include Democrat Rep.Kathy Castor, who is the head of the House Select Committee on Climate Change, and Republican Rep. Francis Rooney, who has also pushed for action to combat climate change. In addition, Rep. Matt Gaetz joined in support of the letter, and he has been vocal about tackling climate change.
This comes at a time when the Trump administration appears to be moving forward with plans to expand offshore drilling, but the lawmakers warn that it would jeopardize Florida’s “fragile and treasured coasts” in addition to also affecting the “military preparedness” because the U.S. military trains in the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico.
Aside from the sunshine state making a call to halt the plans to expand offshore drilling, South Carolina has also joined the conversation, asking a federal court to halt the Trump administration’s plans to drill in the Atlantic.