Bilirakis Applauds Victory on Reversing Oil Drilling Decision, Vows to Continue Fighting for Florida
Washington, DC: Congressman Bilirakis has been working diligently to honor a promise he made last week to fight plans to open up drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. In the less than 5 days since the proposal was first announced, he has personally collaborated on joint letters to the Administration, editorials to local and national papers, as well as, countless meetings and phone calls to express collective concern and opposition. Last night, Secretary Zinke announced that Florida will continue to be protected from drilling.
“I am proud of the success of the intense and coordinated efforts by leaders of Florida's state and federal delegations. By working together as a unified, bipartisan team committed to the protection of Florida's environment and economy, we were able to reverse plans to allow oil drilling off our coast. I applaud the Administration for listening to the voices of those most informed about the unique needs of our state and deferring to our judgment,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “While I am encouraged by last night's news, I await further details to ensure these protections will remain in place for an extended period of time and receive greater clarity about whether or not our opposition to the proposal to relax safety precautions related to oil drilling will also create a shift in policy," said Congressman Gus Bilirakis.
Yesterday, Congressman Bilirakis co-authored a letter opposing any effort to weaken critical oil drilling safety rules adopted in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. Due to the impact the spill had on Florida’s environment, fisheries and economy, Bilirakis was actively involved in championing these regulatory reforms during Congressional Oversight Hearings held in 2010. “While I believe Congress most appropriately governs Commerce, these specific protections, which are within the framework established by Congress, were carefully crafted with the involvement of representatives, like me, who sought to ensure that their states were never again subject to such environmental and economic devastation. I will continue to fight to uphold them and protect the needs of our state, as well as, the readiness of our military which relies upon this area to conduct trainings and has stated that drilling would interrupt its vital operations,” said Congressman Bilirakis.
To read the content of the letter, click here.