Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding his vote to confirm Katharine MacGregor as United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior:
“I am confident that Deputy Secretary MacGregor understands Florida’s unique and vulnerable coastal character, and that most Floridians are opposed to allowing offshore drilling off of the state’s coasts. As I have stated previously, I expect that the Trump Administration will not act to oppose or defeat my efforts to extend the offshore drilling moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico beyond its current expiration in 2022. I will continue to use my seat on the Appropriations Committee to ensure the actions of the Department of the Interior regarding Florida match our state’s interests. When all is said and done, I am confident that the ban on oil drilling off of Florida’s coasts will remain in place.”
Last year, Rubio placed a hold on MacGregor’s nomination over concerns regarding the Department of the Interior’s plans to expand offshore drilling, which he lifted after a conversation with Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Additionally, Rubio secured the commitment of Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, to work together on a path forward to extend the current moratorium on oil drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
A timeline of Rubio’s recent efforts related to offshore drilling:
  • May 22, 2019, Rubio questioned Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt about the current moratorium on offshore drilling off the coast of Florida, and touted President Trump’s action to increase the administration’s budget request for Everglades restoration funds to the full $200 million requested by the Florida congressional delegation
  • On March 7, 2019, Rubio and Scott sent a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Acting Secretary David Bernhardt urging that the Department’s next five-year Proposed Plan for offshore oil and gas drilling exclude all areas along Florida’s coast.
  • On January 3, 2019, Rubio reintroduced the Florida Shores Protection and Fairness Act (S. 13), which would extend the current moratorium on offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico through 2027 and would allow Florida to access additional resources for coastal conservation that are available to the other Gulf states.
  • On January 24, 2018, Rubio joined members of the Florida delegation in sending a letter to Interior Secretary Zinke reiterating strong opposition to any attempt to open up the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling.
  • On January 19, 2018, Rubio and Dunn lead the entire Florida delegation in a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to ensure Florida’s military capabilities are unaffected by the Interior Department’s offshore drilling proposal.
  • On January 4, 2018, in response to the Interior Department’s release of its draft 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing plan, Rubio released a statement urging Secretary Zinke to recognize the Florida Congressional delegation’s bipartisan efforts to maintain and extend the moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and remove this area for future planning purposes.
  • On May 4, 2017, Rubio originally introduced the Florida Shores Protection and Fairness Act, which would extend the moratorium on energy exploration in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and make Florida eligible to receive a share of revenue generated by drilling in the central and western portions of the Gulf.  Rubio reintroduced the bill (S. 13) on January 3, 2019.