Delivering Results

Offshore Drilling

protecting Florida’s natural resources

Throughout his two terms as a United States Senator, Rubio has remained committed to protecting Florida’s natural resources, renowned beaches, and unique military assets from the threat of offshore oil and gas drilling. After much of Florida’s economy and workforce were ravaged by the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, Rubio has been relentless in his efforts to protect Florida’s shores from future devastation.

Senator Rubio speaking at U.S. Senate
Senator Rubio speaking at U.S. Senate

Florida’s coasts in danger

In January 2018, when the Department of the Interior introduced an offshore drilling proposal that would put Florida’s coasts in danger, Rubio took swift action. Rubio and Congressman Neal Dunn led the entire Florida Congressional delegation in urging then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to ensure that the recent Interior Department proposal did not “adversely affect military readiness and training activities off of Florida’s coasts.”

united in opposition

Rubio also led members of the delegation in sending a letter to then-Interior Secretary Zinke reiterating strong opposition to any attempt to open up the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling. Both efforts made clear that Rubio and every other elected Member of Congress from Florida are united in opposition to allowing drilling off of Florida’s coasts.

Senator Rubio speaking at U.S. Senate
Senator Rubio speaking at U.S. Senate

preserve Florida’s coastlines

In March 2019, Rubio again advocated to preserve the environmental and economic vitality of Florida’s coastlines and offshore waters. Rubio and Senator Rick Scott urged U.S. Department of the Interior Acting Secretary David Bernhardt to exclude all areas along Florida’s coast in the Department’s next five-year Proposed Plan for offshore oil and gas drilling.

In December 2019, when the Trump Administration nominated Katharine MacGregor to be U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Rubio placed a hold on her nomination until he was able to ensure the agency would not move forward with plans to expand offshore drilling in Florida.

Rubio’s strong advocacy to prevent offshore oil and gas drilling achieved a major victory in September 2020 when President Trump announced that the moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Florida, which would have expired in 2022, would be extended to 2032. Rubio worked closely with the Trump Administration to secure the continuation of the moratorium, and he continues to work tirelessly in Congress to secure a legislative solution, like his American Shores Protection Act, to ensure that Florida’s coasts remain free of the threat from offshore oil and gas drilling.