JUPITER, Fla. – On Tuesday, the town of Jupiter became the 100th municipality in Florida to pass a resolution formally opposing new offshore drilling that would put coastal communities, pristine beaches and abundant marine life at risk of toxic oil spills. This resolution comes soon after President Trump’s recent visit to Jupiter, where he issued a memorandum withdrawing the waters off Florida, Georgia and South Carolina from offshore oil and gas leasing for 10 years. The president later added the waters off North Carolina and promised to add Virginia. These actions seem to respond to the overwhelming bipartisan opposition from coastal communities like Jupiter and the 387 other cities and towns across the country that have passed formal resolutions against drilling following the president’s 2018 proposed drilling plan to open nearly all federal waters to offshore drilling.
Jupiter’s action come at a time when the promise of protection is not a guarantee, given the president’s statement at a campaign rally in Virginia, where he announced protection and additionally stated, “if you want oil rigs out there, just let me know, I’ll take it off… I can change things very easily.”
This follows a White House proclamation issued in June for National Ocean Month, in which the president touted an “enormous opportunity” to expand the oil industry offshore. And, Politico reported that, “the Trump administration is preparing to open the door to oil and gas drilling off Florida’s coast — but will wait until after the November election.”
The actions of these 100 municipalities to draw a line in the sand against offshore drilling mark a milestone in the rapidly growing bipartisan opposition to drilling in Florida, which includes Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and every member of Congress from the Sunshine State. Floridians had already sent a strong message of opposition in 2018 when over 68% voted to pass Amendment 9, a state constitutional revision that banned oil drilling in state waters.
“Floridians are not backing down and are sending a clear message to President Trump: Floridians do not want dirty and dangerous offshore drilling coming an inch closer. Both Republicans and Democrats, will not trade their pristine beaches, healthy economies and coastal livelihoods for reckless drilling,” said Catherine Uden, Oceana’s South Florida campaign organizer. “President Trump cannot be trusted on this issue during his remaining days in office. While we welcome withdrawing Florida, from offshore drilling for 10 years – it was the president’s plan that threatened the state in the first place. Other East and West Coast states remain vulnerable to his radical drilling plan.”
“All of our coasts deserve permanent protections from new offshore drilling, with the promise of renewable energy like offshore wind. We look forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden to correct course by quickly and permanently protecting our coasts,” Uden added.
Florida’s 100 municipalities join opposition nationwide from every East and West Coast governor, more than 380 coastal communities and alliances totaling more than 56,000 businesses. More than 120 marine scientists and 80 military leaders have also spoken out in letters to Congress and the White House opposing offshore drilling, citing the environmental and national security threat expanded drilling poses.
As of today, opposition and concern over efforts to radically expand offshore drilling activities in U.S. waters includes:
A complete list opposition can be found here.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 200 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that one billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.usa.oceana.org to learn more.