Rep. Darren Soto addressed the Natural Resources Committee during last week’s meeting, speaking about the importance of extending the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico and a ban on seismic drilling off the Atlantic coast. Regardless of whatever other decisions are made, it has been agreed that the 125-miles buffer around the state of Florida until 2022 is “not in jeopardy.”
In his remarks, he noted that the concerns are not only environmental, but economic. Soto points out that Florida has a tourism and agriculture-based economy and that the Deepwater Horizon disaster “cost us billions and billions of dollars.” Soto cites dire economic statistics on the seismic testing issue: $95 billion worth of GDP and 1.4 million jobs are at stake.
Soto makes the point that oil drilling is a matter of national security. He read a letter from Air Force General David Golfein, which stated that extending the drilling moratorium is “essential for developing and sustaining the Air Force’s future combat capabilities.”