Florida House Republicans have joined forces to reintroduce the American Shores Protection Act. Florida Rep. Mike Waltz (R) is leading the charge, and Republicans are praising the bill.
Other Florida lawmakers that have joined in support are Florida Reps. Carlos Gimenez, John Rutherford, Maria Elvira Salazar, Matt Gaetz, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, Mario-Diaz Balart, and Nancy Mace. Florida Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Rick Scott (R) have also introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
In a statement, Rep. Waltz, who’s leading Republicans in reintroducing the legislation, commented on the bill receiving support. Waltz affirmed his commitment “to promoting conservation efforts to keep Florida’s shores clean and our economy thriving.” He added that Florida “cannot afford offshore drilling operations that could invite devastation to our coastal environment, marine life, and tourism industry, as well as negatively impact military training that takes place off of Florida’s coast.”
Rep. Salazar echoed in his remarks, commenting that lawmakers are tasked with ensuring that “future generations of Floridians enjoy clear waters, clean beaches, a healthy ecosystem, and a growing economy.” Moreover, Salazar assured that the bill makes this possible “for all our states residents and their families.”
Florida GOP officials have focused on addressing environmental concerns, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has also pursued more environmental efforts for the sunshine state.
During his time as Governor, DeSantis has pursued conservation efforts for Lake Okeechobee as well as issues regarding red algae.
Rep. Gimenez expressed that “South Florida’s breathtaking coastline is a national treasure,” and he intends to protect it. “I’m proud to represent Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which spans 3,800 square miles and protects our critically endangered coral reeds,” he shared, adding that Florida lawmakers should "codify the moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Florida into federal law.”
Rutherford also shared his thoughts on the legislation, commenting that “opening up our waters to drilling would put our fisheries, coastal communities, military training, and tourism-based economies in peril." As a result, lawmakers should work "to codify President Trump’s moratorium to prevent future drilling and seismic testing off Florida’s coasts.”