Oil Company Pulls Back Permit Requests for Drilling in Everglades

Oil Company Pulls Back Permit Requests for Drilling in Everglades

News Service of Florida
News Service of Florida
February 23, 2022

An oil company has at least temporarily withdrawn applications for permits that could have been a step toward drilling for oil and gas in Southwest Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve.

In a letter Tuesday to the state Department of Environmental Protection, representatives of Burnett Oil Co. pointed to an ongoing review by the National Park Service. The letter from Peninsula Engineering said recent decisions by the park service would lead to a longer review period and potential design changes.

It said Burnett “requests that its applications previously submitted to the Department (of Environmental Protection) be withdrawn until the project is further along in the design process to adequately assess the department’s permitting criteria.” The department said in a news release that the permit applications involved well pads for the project, not for actual drilling.

It also said it recommended in December that the permit application be withdrawn until the project’s design was further along. It said in a statement that “the applicant failed to provide the information needed to evaluate alternatives for the proposed projects, measures for avoidance and minimization of impacts, and wildlife, water quality and wetland resource protections.”

Florida’s entire congressional delegation, which includes Democratic Reps. Ted Deutch, Stephanie Murphy, Kathy Castor, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Republican lawmakers, Rep. Michael Waltz, Matt Gaetz, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Brian Mast, have all come out in a loud and join voice to oppose drilling for in and around Florida.

Back in 2019, when the courts first granted the oil drilling application, Rep. Wasserman Schultz (D) was outraged over the “First District Court of Appeal’s questionable order refusing a request from the state of Florida to reopen or rehear an oil exploration case.”

Rep. Wasserman Schultz stated that court ruling was “outrageous” for “even considering oil drilling in the Everglades ecosystem,” call it “absurd.”

Publisher Javier Manjarres contributed to this News Service of Florida story.

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