Rep. Rooney bill to ban offshore drilling in Eastern Gulf of Mexico passes House
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday in favor of H.R. 205, the Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act, which would make permanent the moratorium on drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, east of the Military Mission Line. The bill passed by a vote of 248 – 180 and will now head to the Senate for consideration.
Congressman Rooney said, “Offshore drilling off the coast of Florida would create an industrial coastline less appealing to visitors, hinder our military readiness, and adversely affect our environment. I want to ensure that all areas east of the Military Mission Line in the Gulf of Mexico are permanently protected from offshore drilling, so these negative consequences do not transpire. Floridians overwhelmingly support the idea as evidenced by the 69% approval of a 2018 state constitutional amendment banning offshore drilling off the coast of Florida. The military has supported this as well, since the Eastern Gulf is America’s largest testing ground.”
“I thank Speaker Pelosi and House Leadership for taking up this bill and my colleagues who voted in favor. Hopefully our Florida Senators Rubio and Scott can accomplish moving this legislation to passage in their chamber and that President Trump will support Florida’s critical imperative by signing it into law.’
- The Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act, H.R. 205, was introduced by Congressman Francis Rooney in January of this year.
- The Eastern Gulf of Mexico hosts the Gulf Test Range, a 120,000 square mile range that stretches from the Florida panhandle to the Keys. The vast size allows the testing of hypersonic weapons, combat maneuvers training, drone testing, and untold future operations of weapons and platforms that will not only need space for testing, but also restricted access areas for classified operations.
- The moratorium on drilling and exploration in the eastern gulf will expire in 2022 unless the Senate and President act.
- Floridians overwhelmingly voted in favor of Florida Amendment 9, which would ban offshore drilling for oil and natural gas off the coast of Florida, by 69% to approve this amendment.