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Rubio Introduces American Shores Protection Act

Jul 26, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the American Shores Protection Act to codify the moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Florida that was put in place by a September 8, 2020 Executive Order by then-President Trump. Under the legislation, the moratorium would be in place for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic until 2032.
Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“From beautiful beaches that draw tourists from around the world to housing critical military infrastructure, Florida’s coastlines are vital to our state and national economies,” Rubio said. “Protecting Florida’s unique coasts and vital military assets has long been a priority of mine. I am grateful for the steps taken by the Trump Administration to ensure the existing moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico remains in place beyond 2022, but we must do more. This legislation would solidify the protections that President Trump implemented, ensuring that both of Florida’s coasts will remain safe from executive action to revoke the moratorium.” 
“As Governor of Florida, I fought for and secured a commitment from the Trump administration to ban oil drilling off Florida’s coasts,” Scott said. “While I’m glad the moratorium on drilling was extended for another 10 years under the Trump Administration, it’s time to codify this ban into law. I’m proud to join Senator Rubio in this important fight to preserve and protect Florida’s natural resources for generations to come.”
“Preserving Florida’s beaches will be critical to our state’s booming economic comeback and we must continue to focus on conservation efforts to ensure our shores remain clean,” Waltz said. “By making law the ban on offshore drilling, we can focus our state’s environmental efforts on water quality and reducing red tide that is killing our marine life and devastating our beaches. I’m grateful to work with Senator Rubio to put Florida’s coasts first.”
A timeline of Rubio’s recent efforts related to offshore drilling:

  • On January 22, 2021, Rubio re-introduced the Florida Shores Protection and Fairness Act.  
  • On September 8, 2020, Rubio praised the Trump Administration for protecting Florida’s coasts
  • On December 17, 2019, Rubio released the hold on MacGregor’s nomination after a conversation with Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, in which Rubio was confident DOI understood the views of Floridians.
  • On December 4, 2019, Rubio placed a hold on Katharine MacGregor’s nomination to be United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior. 
  • 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.