The environment is a growing concern that Florida lawmakers are working to respond to. For example, the growing red tides in the sunshine state is something that Governor-elect Ron DeSantis ran on tackling as soon as he assumes office. Last year, the ride tide presented obstacles, and now Florida representative Francis Rooney is working diligently to ensure that other environmental risks are also taken care of.
Unveiling a bill that will amend the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006, the bill will “permanently ban oil and gas leasing, preleasing, and related activities in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.”
The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources received the bill on Tuesday and, after unveiling the bill, representative Rooney shared his thoughts on why he believes this legislation is important.
Rooney explained, “Water quality impacts all of Florida’s residents and visitors. I want to ensure that all areas east of the Military Mission Line in the Gulf of Mexico are permanently protected from offshore oil drilling. In 2022, the moratorium on drilling and exploration will expire. Offshore drilling will negatively affect our environment, tourism, and military readiness. I am fighting to protect our Florida coast for future generations to enjoy – Florida’s economy is dependent on clean water and a healthy environment.”
Last year, Rooney unveiled the “Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act,” which sought to ensure that the federal moratorium banning oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico’s eastern part for good. In addition, Rooney has also been involved in bipartisan efforts to combat issues with the environment, throwing his support behind Kathy Castor’s “Florida Coastal Protection Act” and Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s “Marine Oil Spill Prevention Act.”
With Democrats in control of the House, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis also returns, and Democratic representative Kathy Castor has been tapped to head the Committee.