On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition (FGCBC) announced its official launch. Formed in response to efforts by the federal government to open nearly all U.S. waters to new offshore oil drilling, the FGCBC is a diverse coalition of over 2,000 businesses, associations and chambers committed to protecting Florida from the threats of expanded offshore oil and gas activities. At a press conference announcing the launch, elected officials and business leaders from across Florida’s Gulf Coast voiced their commitment to preventing offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Video of the press conference can be seen here.
“Protecting our environment is incredibly important… for protecting our economy. And I think that this is what this effort is all about,” said Congressman Charlie Crist (FL-13). Robin Miller, President/CEO of Tampa Beaches Chamber of Commerce and FGCBC Chair, added that the coalition will work to, “Protect not only our coastline but also the businesses that rely on the economy that tourism brings to our destination.”
“Oceana applauds the Florida Gulf Coast Business Coalition for taking a united stance against dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. Plain and simple, offshore drilling is bad for business,” said Diane Hoskins, Oceana campaign director. “Businesses and Floridians across the political spectrum are united in opposition to President Trump and Secretary Zinke’s radical plan to expand drilling to nearly all U.S. waters. It is nationally significant that over 2,000 businesses along the Gulf Coast are saying no any attempt that would allow drilling closer to Florida’s beaches. Now it’s time for the President and Secretary Zinke to listen to the businesses that rely on a clean coast for their livelihoods and have the most to lose from drilling closer to Florida’s shoreline.”
The FGCBC joins a rapidly growing movement of business opposition to offshore drilling. The Gulf Coast group aims to build upon the success of the Business Alliance to Protect the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC)—an influential coalition of more than 42,000 business and 500,000 commercial fishing families that are opposing expanded drilling along the Atlantic coast. The Atlantic alliance also inspired the creation of a coalition on the Pacific Coast, the Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast (BAPPC). Formed in 2017, BAPPC represents over 1,000 businesses and is the leading business voice opposing new and expanded oil and gas development off the Pacific Coast.
Together, these three business coalitions represent over 45,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families united against dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. The continued prosperity of these coastal businesses is inextricably tied to clean, oil-free beaches. The members that comprise these coalitions recognize the immense economic value of our nation’s shorelines. Offshore drilling poses a direct threat to these businesses and the 2.6 million American jobs and roughly $180 billion in GDP that the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coast of Florida support.
Coastal business communities across the nation still remember the devastating effects of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill and the 1969 Santa Barbara blowout. As evidenced by these two disasters, oil spills result in enormous economic losses, negative human health impacts and disturbing effects on marine ecosystems. The FGCBC, BAPAC and BAPPC are fighting to make sure their coasts never face this kind of devastation again. Through the support of policies, resolutions, grassroots efforts and educating elected leaders about the economic value of a clean and healthy ocean, the coalition members provide a strategic and powerful voice in the opposition against offshore drilling.
Businesses interested in joining the fight against dirty and dangerous offshore drilling are encouraged to join their regional coalition. For more information and to join, follow one of the following links: