City of Tallahassee, Florida– Despite fierce and vocal opposition from Florida residents and businesses, the oil industry is continuing its aggressive campaign to promote drilling off our coasts. As detailed in a recent article in The Hill, the American Petroleum Institute’s Explore Offshore coalition is spearheading lobbying efforts to push offshore drilling along Florida’s coast.
During the press event and rollout of Explore Offshore, former Florida Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp told a room full of reporters in Tallahassee that oil from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill “didn’t even reach the shores of Florida.” This false claim is a big problem for the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition. Not only is that statement simply untrue, it also leaves out the devastating impacts and economic losses the state of Florida faced following the disaster.
While the industry claims that limits on offshore drilling are “disallowing hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” this statement fails to acknowledge the existing 2.6 million jobs that are supported by fishing, tourism and recreation along the Atlantic, Pacific and Florida Gulf coasts. In Florida alone, these industries support 609,899 jobs and generate $37.4 billion in GDP. It is senseless for our thriving coastal economies—and the millions of existing jobs they support—to be put at risk.
A single oil spill could devastate the strong coastal economies that our businesses rely on. The effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill are still felt today, and we refuse to open our coasts up to the threat of this kind of devastation again.
The Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition will continue to fight against any attempts to allow for drilling off our cherished coasts.