Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition member and Chairman of the Treasure Island and Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce, Joseph Dise, advocates for our members of Congress to oppose any offshore drilling activities in the currently protected areas off Florida’s Gulf Coast. #ProtectOurCoast
Tampa Bay Times | May 23
Florida, oil drilling don’t pair well
As a Gulf Coast businessman, I am firmly opposed to the shortsighted and dangerous push to open the eastern Gulf of Mexico for offshore oil drilling.
The threat of this activity coming even closer to our shorelines recently became more likely. Florida’s members of Congress are being pressured to engage in behind-the-scenes negotiations to allow the eastern Gulf to be drilled for oil and gas. This pressure is coming from congressional leaders who have no real connection to our important coastline and beautiful beaches.
Florida’s Gulf Coast tourism, recreation and fishing industries support 304,556 jobs and generate $17.5 billion annually in GDP. This economic strength would plummet in the event of an oil spill. When people think of Florida, they think of beaches, seafood and boating. I’d prefer we keep it that way.
When the BP Deepwater Horizon exploded and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the ocean, tourism plunged even in places where oil never reached the beaches.
It is up to us to tell our representatives in Congress to oppose any offshore drilling activities in the currently protected areas off Florida’s Gulf Coast. Our voices matter and we don’t want loopholes that will allow industry to come in and drill. We don’t want it now and we don’t want it ever.
Joseph Dise, Treasure Island
The writer is chairman of the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce.