Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced the Florida Shores Protection and Fairness Act, legislation that would extend the moratorium on energy exploration in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico from 2022 to 2027, and make Florida eligible to receive a share of the revenue generated by drilling in the central and western portions of the Gulf.
Current law gives “all the Gulf states—except for Florida—the ability to benefit from revenue generated by drilling in the middle and the west of the Gulf,” writes Rubio in the Pensacola News Journal. “So while Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama receive a direct flow of money they can use on conservation and environmental efforts, restoring their coasts, hurricane protection, flood control, mitigation measures for wildlife and approved federal projects, Florida is losing out.”
“As the tragic Deepwater Horizon disaster demonstrated, Florida’s environment and economies are in danger of being affected by rare but major drilling accidents in the Gulf—even with the 125-mile ban in the current moratorium,” explains Rubio. “That’s why I’ve introduced legislation that would help Florida in two ways. First, it would extend the current moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico from 2022 until 2027. Second, it would allow Florida to be included in the list of Gulf states that are eligible to share revenue. This would give Florida a new source of funding, and recognize that as long as our shores shoulder some of the risk, it’s only fair that Floridians share in some of the benefit.”
Read the rest of Rubio’s op-ed here.