Florida Senator Bill Nelson Signals To Block Bill To Drill Off Florida Coast
By Space Coast Daily // July 31, 2015
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) today told Senate leaders he would use every possible procedural move to block legislation that would open up areas off Florida’s Gulf Coast to offshore drilling.
Earlier today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved just such a measure by a 12-10 party-line vote.
The GOP-backed measure would allow oil and gas rigs to operate as close as 50 miles to much of Florida’s Gulf Coast – which would undo protection of the state’s Gulf Coast dating back some four decades.
There’s currently a no-drilling zone extending 125 miles off most of that coastline and as far out as 235 miles at some points to protect vital military training areas in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
That moratorium, made possible by 2006 legislation coauthored by Nelson, is in effect until 2022.
The new measure seeks to repeal it, so Nelson announced his intention to block any legislation that would repeal that moratorium in a brief, pointed letter he sent today to the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and Minority Leader Harry Reid.
“If any measure to repeal the current moratorium on offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico comes before the full Senate for a vote, I will use all available procedural options to block it,” Nelson wrote.