Florida's Environmental Officer Testifies

WASHINGTON D.C. -

Lawmakers determined to increase domestic fossil fuel supplies have introduced another bill to open up the OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) to drilling. But the Florida delegation remains united against the bill.

Colleen Castille, Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, testified at the hearing. She says the bill would have to be significantly altered to gain state support.

CASTILLE: As Congress addresses America's future energy needs and the demands for new production in the Eastern section of the Gulf of Mexico, Florida requests that you consider its environmental and economic interests.

Castille asked lawmakers to keep the federal ban intact until it expires in 2012. She says any legislation should require at least a 100 mile no drilling buffer around Florida's coastline and that military training operations in the Gulf should be off limits to leasing.

The Committee must approve the bill before it reaches the House floor for debate.

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