We here in Florida who live near the bay will never forget the year of 2010’s catastrophic failures which led to the explosion that destroyed the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 people. This led to one of the biggest oil leaks in history that lasted for so many days as the world watched BP making several attempts to fix the gushing leaks while severe damage was being rendered to the normally clear blue waters, miles of sandy shores, surrounding habitats, and wildlife. The local businesses suffered serious financial setbacks.
There is no way that Floridians will tolerate the thought that its shores could be so compromised again. Floridians have been listening as to how the White House is allowing more and more US lands to be subject to oil drilling to where Florida legislators are taking action.
Here is the rest of the story…
On 4/27/17, Alex Leary of the TampaBay Times penned the following report, “Nelson, Democrats file bill to block Trump on drilling.
“In a pre-emptive strike, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and other Democrats today (4/27/17) filed legislation to block the Trump administration from opening up additional areas to offshore drilling.”
“Drilling near Florida’s coast poses a direct threat to Florida’s environment and multi-billion-dollar, tourism-driven economy,” Nelson said in a statement.”
“The action comes a day before President Trump is expected to sign an executive order calling for a review of drilling. Nelson says that would require the Interior Department to alter the current five-year oil and gas leasing plan that took effect earlier this year and expires in 2022. That plan prohibits oil and gas drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic Coast.”
“The new legislation would prohibit changes to the current plan. Nelson had previously filed legislation to extend the ban to 2027.”
According to the 4/26/17 New Yorker Magazine article by Margaret Hartmann, “Trump is expected to sign an order on Wednesday (4/26/17) that will direct Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review areas designated as national monuments during the last three administrations. Zinke will have 120 days to submit his proposals for scaling down or revoking the status of monuments created under the 1906 Antiquities Act.”
“Sixteen presidents have used the Antiquities Act to protect U.S. lands and waters, and while some have altered the size of monuments set aside by their predecessors, none have tried to revoke their status entirely. It’s unclear if presidents have the legal authority to do so, and environmental and Native American groups say they’re prepared to file lawsuits if President Trump alters any monument’s designation.”
“The New York Times reports that President Trump will sign a second executive order on Friday that aims to open up protected waters in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans to offshore drilling. In December, President Obama invoked an obscure 1953 law to permanently ban offshore drilling in those water, and he had previously banned drilling in the Arctic Ocean through 2022.”
Floridians have a right to be concerned. It is hard getting oil and natural gas out of the ground safely. Doing it over water makes it even harder with all of the additional pressure of ocean depths. Yet, as one fracking engineer is on record of saying, about 1 in 20 caps fail immediately. And, as the father of modern day fracking stated, you are only as safe as your worst operator. Oil and natural gas will leak – when someone says something is “perfectly safe,” they are not being forthcoming with the truth.
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There is the Exxon Valdez disaster and the Gulf of Mexico BP oil rig explosion that are a reminder that there is no such thing as safe drilling and “state of the art pipelines” that don’t leak.
And then the fossil fuel industry has not developed a history of being truthful. Right now Exxon is fighting class action suits against it for hiding its knowledge about climate change dating back to almost 40 years ago and a $75 billion dollars in fines enacted against it by the country of Chad.
Not to mention the routine pipeline breaches. When a CEO of a pipeline builder said they pipelines never breach, the reporter asked him to clarify several times, then he hemmed and hawed.
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