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May 24, 2018

Press Release from the Office of the Governor

From Gov. Scott's Office: Florida Leaders Applaud Governor Scott's Fight to Protect Florida's Coastline

| 1/11/2018

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Yesterday, following Governor Rick Scott’s meeting with United States Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, the Department of the Interior announced that Florida’s coastline has been removed from consideration for future oil drilling. Last week, Governor Scott requested to immediately meet with Secretary Zinke to discuss his concerns with the federal oil drilling plan and the crucial need to remove Florida from consideration. Here’s what Florida leaders are saying:

Congressman Gus Bilirakis said, “I am proud of the success of the intense and coordinated efforts by leaders of Florida's state and federal delegations, spearheaded by Governor Scott. By working together as a unified, bipartisan team committed to the protection of Florida's environment and economy, we were able to reverse plans that called for oil drilling off our coast. I applaud the Administration for listening to the voices of those most informed about the unique needs of our state and deferring to our judgment.”

Congressman Vern Buchanan said, “The administration’s decision to cancel expanded drilling off our coasts is great news for Florida’s environment and economy. Kudos to Governor Scott and the congressional delegation for standing against this misguided policy.”

Congressman Carlos Curbelo said, “The people of Florida and elected officials at the local, state and federal levels spoke loud and clear on the Administration’s oil drilling plan: We don’t want drilling near our shores, and we don’t want to put our ecological treasures and state economy at risk. I’m grateful to all those who made this a priority, including Governor Scott, and to Secretary Zinke and the Department of Interior for listening to Florida and its leaders and removing Florida from consideration.”

Congressman Ron DeSantis said, “I applaud Secretary Ryan Zinke for heeding the calls of Governor Rick Scott and our Florida congressional delegation and taking Florida off the table for offshore oil drilling. Thank you for listening!”

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart said, “I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary Zinke for removing Florida from the list of potential offshore drilling sites. This once again demonstrates Governor Scott's absolute leadership, as he worked tirelessly with the Administration to protect Florida's pristine beaches and the ecosystem our shores rely on. I also want to commend the Florida congressional delegation for always coming together on issues important to our state.”

Congressman Neal Dunn said, “President Trump and Secretary Zinke made the right call, and protecting the eastern Gulf for the military’s test and training range is critical for our national security. It is a unique national treasure that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the country. I am grateful to Governor Scott for his leadership, as well as the work of the Florida congressional delegation in coming to this outcome.”

Congressman Matt Gaetz said, “I am deeply pleased that Secretary Zinke will no longer pursue oil drilling off the Florida coast, which would have been disastrous to Florida’s economy, the environment, and, most importantly, to the readiness of America’s armed forces. Governor Scott’s strong leadership on this issue and President Trump’s swift response were commendable, and I am proud that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle could unite to protect the Sunshine State. In my one-on-one talks with President Trump, I brought up the dire risk that coastal oil drilling would pose to national security, and he was greatly receptive to my concerns. The guarantee that drilling off the Florida coast will not happen during President Trump’s tenure is a tremendous victory for Florida and for its people.”

Congressman Brian Mast said, “Oil drilling off the coast of Florida would put our economy, environment and marine life at risk. That’s why our state’s representatives, across the political spectrum, have been working hard together to prevent drilling.  Over the last several days, Secretary Zinke heard a bipartisan chorus from Florida – from my conversation with him to meeting with Governor Scott and hearing directly from the millions of Floridians opposed to drilling.  We spoke with a united voice and delivered results!”

Congressman Francis Rooney said, “I applaud the decision of President Trump and Secretary Zinke, along with the hard work of Governor Scott, to remove our state from the administration's offshore drilling plan - my ultimate goal is still a permanent ban on offshore drilling and seismic testing in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and I firmly believe that Florida’s Congressional delegation will be successful in achieving this goal.”

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said, “I’m glad that Secretary Zinke has decided to exclude Florida from any oil drilling exploration and applaud Governor Scott’s efforts. I hope that the Secretary will follow up shortly with an announcement that seismic testing is also off the table. Our Florida Congressional delegation stands firmly against oil drilling because, as a tourist-friendly and ecologically sensitive state, we know the damage any spill can cause to our state economy in addition to its national impact. As we saw from the devastating impacts of Deepwater Horizon, Florida cannot afford a spill of any size.”

Congressman John Rutherford said, “I commend Governor Scott and Secretary Zinke for recognizing the importance of protecting Florida’s coasts from drilling. The administration’s agreement to leave Florida out of the new five-year drilling plan is a promising development and good step forward in protecting Florida’s pristine shores. I look forward to continuing to work with the administration and Governor Scott to establish long-term protections for Florida against drilling and seismic testing off of our Gulf and Atlantic Coasts.”

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said, “Florida’s coastline not only supports our tourism industry, but also supports our military and research industries. I’m proud of Governor Scott’s leadership on this issue and applaud our federal leaders for listening to his insight.”

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said, “I stand with Governor Scott in protecting Florida’s shores and am grateful for his leadership in working with Secretary Zinke to protect what makes Florida Florida.”

Senate President Joe Negron said, “I have opposed offshore drilling from Day One and appreciate Governor Scott’s quick action in working with the Department of Interior to make sure Florida’s voice is heard. Time and time again from working with the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure we successfully implement Senate Bill 10, to renovations of the Herbert Hoover Dike, to LIP funding, to securing federal resources needed for recovery from recent hurricanes, Governor Scott has demonstrated efficiency and effectiveness when working with our federal partners in Washington.”

Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran said, “Without Rick Scott, Florida’s pristine coast lines and natural beauty would be in jeopardy. His tireless effort to protect our future, as well as his standing with the President, is an unmatched asset for Floridians. From Pensacola to Punta Gorda, Floridians across the board are united behind our Governor in opposing offshore drilling.”

Senator Rob Bradley said, “Florida’s world class beaches help bring in millions of tourists every year. I’m proud of the work that Governor Scott did to secure Florida’s pristine environment by preventing offshore drilling from happening in Florida.”

Representative Holly Raschein said, “I want to thank Governor Scott for his effort to keep offshore drilling from coming to Florida. Our coral reefs and gorgeous beaches are what attract tourists to our state and we have to protect them.”

Chair of VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors Maryann Ferenc said, “Our beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, helping us attract millions of visitors each year. We now have peace of mind as we market our state that those beaches will be beautiful and safe. I appreciate the Governor taking a lead on this important issue."

President & CEO of VISIT FLORIDA Ken Lawson, said “Exempting Florida from any offshore drilling is a huge win for tourism in our state. Florida’s beaches are a global icon, attracting millions of visitors to the Sunshine State every year. By keeping offshore drilling away from Florida, we’re ensuring our world-class beaches will remain beautiful for generations to come. Governor Scott has been a champion for tourism in Florida, and I want to thank him for his strong leadership on this important issue.”

Chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Bo Rivard said, “Florida is the fishing capital of the world which helps bring tourists to our state every year. I’m proud of the work that Governor Scott did to secure Florida’s pristine environment by preventing offshore drilling from happening in Florida.”

Vice Chair of Triumph Gulf Coast Allan Bense said, “Florida is home to some of the most beautiful natural resources in the world and I’m proud that Governor Scott got Florida off the table for offshore oil drilling. We must continue to do everything we can to protect our beaches.”

President of Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association Deborah Flack said, “FSBPA applauds Governor Scott for his concern and commitment to the preservation of Florida's beaches. His opposition to offshore drilling is further evidence of his support, as recently demonstrated by his unprecedented budget recommendation of $100 million to maintain our beaches and to sustain the economic health of our coastal communities.”

President and CEO of Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Carol Dover said, “Last week, FRLA stood in solidarity with Governor Scott who expressed his opposition and concerns with the federal oil drilling plan and the crucial need to remove Florida from consideration. With the recent Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010, our hotels and restaurants already know all too well the devastating impacts an oil spill can wreak on a tourist destination. FRLA expresses its sincere gratitude for Governor Scott’s leadership on this issue and applauds Secretary Zinke’s decision to preserve Florida’s coastal communities whose economies are heavily reliant on tourism. Florida’s 825 miles of sandy coastline is one of the state’s most valuable resources and FRLA is proud to support any effort that restores our beaches and maintains, protects, and preserves them for the future.”

Interim Executive Director of Audubon Florida Julie Wraithmell said, “Florida is home to some of the most important habitats for birds and wildlife. Audubon Florida is grateful for Governor Scott's clear message that Florida’s Atlantic Coast and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico are no place for dangerous offshore drilling.”

Tags: Environment, Government/Politics & Law

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