Letters to the Editor

Banning offshore drilling may hurt Florida’s economy

Some members of Florida’s congressional delegation have unveiled a proposal to permanently ban oil drilling off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, dozens of miles offshore, from the shoreline to federal waters. That would be far out of sight and away from any fishing or recreational activities.

Supporters claim these steps, if approved, will help Floridians. We’re listening to our constituents, they say. Not many of them.

Floridians spend, on average, more than $2,500 annually on energy expenses. That’s a taxing amount for many, especially the nearly 3 million statewide in poverty who regularly see a dangerously high, double-digit percentage of their take-home pay go toward energy expenses that could be lower under the right set of policies.

Advocating for an energy plan that increases domestic supplies of all resources — oil, natural gas, wind and solar, onshore and off, and in the safest methods possible — is the only way to balance the supply-demand equation and reduce energy expenses for these households, especially as the state’s population increases and energy demand climbs.

It also would increase economic opportunities inland and across the shoreline, via upticks in jobs and tax revenue. This would help put more Floridians back to work and help more families make ends meet. And it would help fund critical municipal services including schools, road repairs and local emergency response personnel plus aid beautification enhancements.

Thanks to improved techniques and state-of-the-art technologies plus the safest set of regulations in the world, Florida has what it needs to make and transport its own energy safely. Now, it just needs the right regulatory climate, and this proposal doesn’t cut it.

Kevin Doyle,

Florida director,

Consumer Energy Alliance,

Jacksonville

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