Enviro Groups Protest Offshore Drilling Bill

Adam Putnam
TAMPA -

The bill would end a quarter-century ban on drilling in most of the Outer Continental Shelf. It would allow oil and gas development in restricted offshore waters unless a state prohibited it.

Richard Charter, with the Natural Resources Defense Council, says Florida could see drilling fifty miles offshore.

CHARTER: This is not in any way a guaranteee of a 100-mile buffer around Florida. At best, this is a 50-mile buffer around Florida, and that even can be eroded. It is not necessarily permanent.

That's because under the bill, states would have to ask the federal government to ban drilling from 50 to one hundred miles offshore. The bill was negotiated by Representative Adam Putnam, a Republican from Bartow. John Hambel is a a spokesman Congressman Putnam.

HAMBEL: We're pleased that the process is moving forward, because for the first time, Florida will have control of its coastline up to 100 miles. That means that Florida's destiny will be in the hands of Floridians.

The bill should be voted on by the full House of Representatives next week.

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