A bipartisan group of Florida representatives is pushing to end offshore oil drilling in Florida for good. New legislation would permanently extend a federal moratorium that is set to expire in 2022.
In November, Florida voters banned offshore drilling with the passage of Amendment 9.
David Mica with the Florida Petroleum Council insists the practice has been around for 75 years and has its benefits.
“Collectively it amounts of a good portion of the energy that we consume in the United States and around the globe producing essentially oil and gas,” said David Mica.
But Kim Ross with the environmental group Rethink Energy Florida thinks drilling would come at the expense of Florida’s tourism industry.
“Florida’s government there’s a recognition that our tourism industry is so critical to the economy of the state of Florida that allowing that drilling off of our state and allowing that risk just is not worth it,” said Kim Ross.
The bill is being teed up for this year’s session.