Nelson vows to fight Trump administration's offshore oil drilling plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following is statement from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) on the Trump administration’s plan to open up nearly all federal waters to offshore oil drilling – including the eastern Gulf of Mexico and areas off Florida’s Atlantic coast:
“This plan is an assault on Florida’s economy, our national security, the will of the public and the environment. This proposal defies all common sense and I will do everything I can to defeat it.”
Nelson, a long-time opponent of allowing oil rigs too close to Florida’s coast, often cites the state’s unique environment, its multi-billion dollar, tourism-driven economy and the vital national military training areas in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico as reasons why drilling should not be allowed near Florida’s shores.
- In 2006, Nelson and then-Sen. Mel Martinez successfully brokered a deal to ban drilling off Florida’s Gulf coast through the year 2022.
- In Jan. 2017, Nelson filed legislation to extend that moratorium for an additional five years, to 2027. [Text of the legislation is available here.]
- In April 2017, the day before President Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to open up new areas to offshore oil drilling, Nelson and others filed legislation to block the Trump administration from opening up any additional areas to offshore oil drilling until at least 2022. [Text of that legislation is available here.]
- Last month, amid rumors that the Interior Department was preparing to unveil the proposal released today, Nelson took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to take up and pass the legislation he and others filed in April to block the agency from implementing this new plan. [Video of Nelson’s speech is available here.]