Florida Congressmen Push Back at Trump's Rollback of Drilling Regulations
Three members of the Florida delegation--Democrat U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Republican U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan and Francis Rooney--are looking to codify safety regulations about offshore drilling which the Trump administration is looking to change.
The three Florida congressmen paired up with U.S. Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán, D-Calif., on Monday to showcase the “Safe Coasts, Oceans, and Seaside Towns (COAST) Act” which would codify “two of the common-sense safety regulations implemented after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion” which were rolled back by the Trump administration.
“The administration's decision to roll back protections on off-shore drilling is a disappointment to all Floridians and a threat to our way of life,” Crist said on Monday. “As Florida’s governor when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and dumped more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, I saw first-hand the effects a tragedy of this magnitude can have on our environment and on our economy.
“We should learn from past mistakes, not hand over the fate of our coasts and oceans to the oil and gas industry. These rules are vital to protecting our coastal communities and must remain in place,” Crist added.
“This is a reckless and dangerous decision that threatens Florida's Gulf Coast. Have we learned nothing from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe?” said Buchanan. “It would be a monumental mistake to lift these safeguards, which were based on recommendations by a bipartisan national commission in wake of the fatal 2010 disaster.”
“Even the potential for an oil spill presents an existential threat to Florida. After the Deepwater Horizon spill, the tourism industry along the Gulf Coast of Florida was crushed. Even though no oil reached the west coast of Florida, 50,000 jobs were lost. Further, if any spillage or other residual effects of a spill were to reach the Loop Current, which runs clockwise down the west coast, oil and tar balls would find their way along the coast from Tampa to Key West,” said Rooney. “For these reasons, I am severely disappointed in the Administration’s decision to weaken the Well Control Rule, and am deeply concerned about the existential threat that a potential oil spill poses to Florida.