U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today released the following statement:
“Oil drilling off the coast of Florida puts our economy, environment and marine life at risk. That’s why I’ve long opposed drilling off our coast and have been working closely with my Florida colleagues on both sides of the aisle to extend the prohibition on drilling off the coast of Florida. Today’s announcement that the Department of the Interior intends to open up drilling off the Florida coast is extremely alarming and unacceptable. Moving forward, Secretary Zinke has indicated that Florida and other states will have a voice in the process. Our voice has been clear from the start: we will not tolerate drilling near our coast. As the Department of the Interior works to finalize their plan, I will do everything I can to convince them to change their mind and prevent drilling off our coast.”
Congressman Mast has long opposed oil drilling off the coast of Florida. Actions he has taken include:
- Co-sponsoring the bipartisan Marine Oil Spill Prevention Act, which would extend the current ban on oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to future oil spills.
- Sending a letter to Interior Secretary Zinke in June opposing secretarial order #3350 to move forward with offshore oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Sending a letter to Interior Secretary Zinke in March in opposition to offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.