oil drilling

Everglades National Park / Facebook

Overturning a decision by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, an appeals court Tuesday ordered the state to issue a permit to a major Broward County landowner that wants to drill an exploratory oil well in the Everglades.

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.

The Trump Administration has approved the search for oil and natural gas off the Atlantic coast. Late last month, the federal government gave the green light to five applications that allow companies to use seismic testing in different sites, including along part of Florida’s eastern seaboard.

The tests work by using airguns to send sound waves through the water to image the sea floor. The waves then bounce back to deliver information about the location of buried oil and gas.

Amy Green/WMFE

Gov. Rick Scott says Florida is “off the table for oil drilling.”

On Tuesday, Floridians chose to permanently ban offshore drilling and workplace vaping—two proposals bundled together under the statewide ballot item, Amendment 9.

As WLRN previously reported, the odd pairing was part of a controversial process:

Buried deep in the War-and-Peace-length tome that is this November's Florida ballot, voters will find a question asking if a ban on offshore drilling and a ban on vaping should be codified in the state constitution.

Yup, Amendment 9 is the bundled amendment bringing together e-cigarettes and oil rigs.

In its own words:

NO. 9

CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION

Article II, Section 7

Article X, Section 20

Amy Green/WMFE

A national coalition with deep Florida ties brought its message of supporting offshore oil and natural-gas “exploration” to Tallahassee on Wednesday, as pushback continues against a Trump administration plan that could lead to expanded drilling off the country’s coasts.

Hands Across The Sand

Hundreds of opponents of offshore oil drilling gathered at Florida beaches and held hands.

Amy Green/WMFE

Visit Florida President Ken Lawson and Brig. Gen. Evan Dertien, commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, are among scheduled panelists for a Florida congressional delegation hearing Thursday on drilling off the state’s coasts.

Amy Green/WMFE

Members of Florida’s congressional delegation from both sides of the political aisle denounced a White House proposal Friday that they say would weaken offshore oil-drilling regulations.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appears to be doubling down on the confusion, about whether or not Florida is exempt from a five-year offshore drilling plan announced in January.

Appearing before the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, Zinke responded to Rep. Norma Thomas, a California Democrat, about why her state didn’t get an exemption like Florida.

It has been almost an article of faith in Florida politics: residents do not want oil drilling off the state’s coasts.

But poll results released Thursday suggest that a drilling ban might not have enough voter support to go into the Florida Constitution.

One of the most sensitive topics in Florida politics has to do with oil rigs creeping closer to our shores. Recently, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke took Florida off the table when it comes to offshore oil drilling. That was lauded by Gov. Rick Scott - but it led to charges he flip-flopped.

Miami commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to oppose drilling for gas and oil off Florida's coasts.

The vote follows confirmation by the U.S. Department of the Interior that Florida is among states where drilling could be expanded, despite a statement to the contrary by Interior  Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The Trump administration's promise to exempt Florida from an offshore drilling plan is not a formal action, an Interior Department official said Friday in a statement that Democrats said contradicted a high-profile announcement by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The Trump administration said Tuesday it would not allow oil drilling off the coast of Florida, abruptly reversing course under pressure from Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Northeast Florida Republican Congressman John Rutherford is helping lead a bipartisan effort against seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic Ocean, which could lead to drilling for oil and gas.

Rutherford said the blasting could hurt coastal businesses relying on healthy oceans.


It’s been nearly a year since a Miami-based family applied for a permit to build an exploratory oil-drilling well right on the fringes of the Everglades, outside of Miramar, generating an uproar in the community. 

Nevertheless, the Kanter family proceeded with the petition and it could be approved as early as late summer or early fall. 

Alarm Rises on Everglades Drilling

Jul 7, 2014

Texas wildcatters have moved into the fragile wetlands and wildlife refuges in Collier County, part of the Everglades, where a mini-oil rush is under way, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.  While some in Florida back the move in the  name of energy-independence, environmental groups say weak regulation risks not only the ecosystem but the drinking water supply.