Proposed oil drilling off Florida's western coast threatens this once protected area. In 2006, the western coast of Florida was protected by a bipartisan agreement that prohibited offshore oil and gas drilling until the year 2022.
Early this year, oil interests succeeded in passing an amendment to remove these protections. If this is accepted into law, over 83,000 square miles of ocean will be vulnerable to offshore oil and gas drilling.
There's still time to protect Florida's future - by removing the drilling amendment and supporting meaningful legislation that moves our country away from its dependence on fossil fuels. Click the links below to take action now!
What you can do:
• Call your Senator
• Write a letter to the editor
• Meet your Senator
• You can also help to gather signatures on Oceana’s petition.
First, browse through the fact sheets so you feel comfortable talking about the issue. Then, print out a few copies of the facts for people to read and print copies of the petition for people to sign. Grab a clipboard and some pens and off you go!
• Senate energy bill fact sheet
• Oceana’s report, “Toxic Legacy”
Once you’ve collected the signatures, send them to Oceana and we will personally deliver them to your Senators! If you have any questions or need any help getting started send us an email, we will be glad to help!
1350 Connecticut Ave, NW, Floor 5
Washington, DC 20036
What's At Risk
Top 10 Reasons to Oppose New Oil Drilling
• Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling Harms the Oceans.
Almost one million gallons of oil enter the oceans of North America every year through extraction activities alone.
• Clean oceans and beaches are extremely valuable both culturally and economically.
Tourism in America is a trillion-dollar industry with coastal communities contributing over $700 billion annually to our economy (Read more)
• Oil is particularly damaging to marine mammals, seabirds, and turtles which can become coated in and ingest oil.
Oil is extremely toxic to marine life and can lead to organ failure, genetic mutation, immune system failure, anemia, brain lesions, cancer, starvation and death.
• Our oceans give essential protein to nearly half of the world’s population.
U.S. commercial fishing alone generates approximately $103 billion in sales, $44 billion in income, and supports 1.5 million jobs. (Read more)
• The threat to our oceans and marine life is not theoretical; it happens and it happens often.
A recent Shell pipeline spill in the Gulf of Mexico covered 80 square miles of Gulf waters with oil sheen. It was one of two spills in waters off Florida’s coastline and seven spills in U.S. waters this year
• The emissions from continued use of oil will contribute to increased climate change.
Coral death from ocean acidification and coral bleaching, more frequent and stronger storms, and increased sea level rise are all severe threats to low-lying coastline and abundant marine resources
• Expanding offshore drilling will not significantly decrease prices at the pump.
Even once full production is achieved (not before 2030), new offshore drilling will have a negligible effect on oil prices, according to the government’s Energy Information Association (EIA).
• We cannot drill our way to energy independence.
It is estimated that the United States has only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, yet we generate about 25% of the world demand. Energy security can only be achieved by reducing our addiction to oil. (Read more)
• Combined, oil and gas companies hold leases to nearly 68 million acres of federal land and waters that are NOT currently producing oil and gas.
In fact, according to the Department of the Interior, of all the oil and gas believed to exist on the Outer Continental Shelf, 82% of the natural gas and 79% of the oil is located in areas that are currently open for leasing. (Read more)