Congressman Rooney testifies to House Natural Resources Committee – Offshore drilling moratorium must be made permanent
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Francis Rooney provided testimony to the House Natural Resources Committee on the need for making the current moratorium on offshore drilling made permanent. Without additional legislation, the moratorium would be lifted in 2022, leaving open the possibility of drilling just a few miles off Florida’s shores.
Congressman Rooney stated, “Florida faces an existential threat from offshore drilling. It will undermine our tourism and recreational economy. Circumstances which could give rise to even the most remote possibility of damage to the West Coast because of drilling and exploration in the Eastern Gulf create unjustified and insurmountable threats to us.
“In addition to the risks to our economy, we don’t need to take this risk to be energy secure anymore. We have more reserves in the United States now than Russia or Saudi Arabia have in conventional reserves.
“The economic case for extending the drilling moratorium is strong. As important, the Eastern Gulf is home to the Gulf Test Range, a 120,000 square mile range that stretches from the Florida panhandle to the Keys. This unimpeded training and testing area are crucial national security assets that cannot be carried out anywhere else in the United States. The vast size allows the testing of hypersonic weapons, combat maneuvers training, drone testing, and untold future operations of weapons and platforms that will not only need space for testing, but also restricted access areas for classified operations.”
Congressman Rooney is the sponsor of H.R. 205, the Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act. This simple bill makes the moratorium on offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico permanent.