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Florida Congressional Leaders To New Acting Interior Secretary: No Oil Drilling Here

Opponents in St. Augustine of oil and gas exploration. Photo by Amy Green

Florida’s congressional delegation is calling on new acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to exclude the state from offshore oil and gas development.

The congressional leaders in a letter raise concern that no formal action has been taken since former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Florida “is off the table” on oil drilling.

The statement came last year as the Trump administration announced a five-year plan vastly expanding offshore oil and gas development, including in the Straits of Florida.

President Donald Trump nominated Bernhardt last month to succeed Zinke, who resigned amid allegations of ethical missteps.

Florida’s congressional delegation say in their letter tourism dropped across the state after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill and that offshore drilling also would affect military operations.

The Interior Department had no immediate comment.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »