The Republican Florida Congressional Delegation began the week by introducing the American Shores Protection Act. Led by Florida Rep. Michael Waltz (R), the legislation would “codify the moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the coast of Florida that was put in place by a September 8, 2020 Executive Order by then-President Trump.” The moratorium would extend to the South Atlantic, the Eastern Gulf, and Straits of Florida planning areas, and Waltz argued that this environmental moratorium would allow the state to focus “on water quality and reducing red tide.”
Florida Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Rick Scott (R) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. Senate as Waltz championed the moratorium.
“Preserving Florida’s beaches will be critical to our state’s booming economic comeback and we must continue to focus on conservation efforts to ensure our shores remain clean,” Waltz detailed, adding that “by making the ban on offshore drilling law, we can focus our state’s environmental efforts on water quality and reducing red tide that is killing our marine life and devastating our beaches.”
Rubio and Scott also praised the effort, noting the environmental effects it could have as the state continues to address growing concerns.
“From beautiful beaches that draw tourists from around the world to housing critical military infrastructure, Florida’s coastlines are vital to our state and national economies,” said Rubio. He added that he is “grateful for the steps taken by the Trump Administration to ensure the existing moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico remains in place beyond 2022, but we must do more.”
Senator Scott, who formerly served as Governor of Florida, echoed in Rubio’s remarks, adding that “as Governor of Florida, I fought for and secured a commitment from the Trump administration to ban oil drilling off Florida’s coasts.” However, though “the moratorium on drilling was extended for another 10 years under the Trump administration, it’s time to codify this ban into law.”