Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL District 16) lists on his Congressional website the Ocean Champions Congressional Champion award.
Who is Ocean Champions?
According to its website:
Ocean Champions is a 501(c)(4) organization with a connected political action committee – the first national organization of its kind focused solely on oceans and ocean wildlife. Our goal is to create a political environment where protecting and restoring the oceans is a national government priority. By helping to elect pro-ocean Congressional candidates and engaging with Congress to pass pro-ocean laws and shoot down bills that would harm the ocean.
What does Ocean Champions mean by having a goal to “create a political environment where protecting and restoring the oceans is a national government priority” and to “pass pro-ocean laws and shoot down bills that would harm the ocean?”
Under the Obama administration this meant implementation of the National Ocean Policy on July 19, 2010, known as “Ocean Zoning.” This policy was fully supported by Ocean Champions and twelve other environment groups.
The House Committee on Natural Resources wrote this about the Obama administration’s National Ocean Policy:
Restrictive national standards, along with ocean zoning, could slow and potentially stop the permitting of activities such as commercial and recreational fishing and energy production.This will harm the economy and cost jobs.
Both Rep. Buchanan and Ocean Champions are against off shore drilling.
The Big Lie
On his Congressional website Rep. Buchanan has the following policy position under Jobs & Economy:
We need to cut bureaucratic red tape to give businesses the flexibility they need to expand and create jobs.
The Global Energy Institute (GEI) produces an annual report on the cost of electricity by state. Florida does not allow drilling off of its shore lines. Florida’s cost of electricity per kilowatt hour during the past five years according to GEI are:
YEAR U.S. AVG FLORIDA AVG
- 2013 10.08 10.30 cents
- 2014 10.13 10.86 cents
- 2015 10.42 10.64 cents
- 2016 10.28 10.13 cents
- 2017 10.54 10.65 cents
Texas and Louisiana both drill off of their Gulf of Mexico shore lines. Here are the average costs per kilowatt hour for these two states over the same five years according to the GEI:
YEAR TEXAS LOUISIANA
- 2013 8.77 8.00 cents
- 2014 8.99 8.11 cents
- 2015 8.63 7.64 cents
- 2016 8.28 7.41 cents
- 2017 8.55 7.75 cents
The Cost to Floridians
Florida’s major industries are dependent on cheap and reliable electricity. Tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, agriculture, healthcare, restaurant, wholesale and retail all need electricity to operate. The higher the cost per kilowatt hour the lower the profits of Florida based companies and the fewer jobs.
Representative Buchanan does not want drilling, even of an exploratory nature, off of Florida’s shorelines. When President Trump lifted the Obama ban on offshore drilling Rep. Buchanan released the following statement in opposition to the Trump administration’s plan to expand offshore drilling operations off the coast of Florida, including the Eastern Gulf of Mexico:
“The Trump administration’s plan to expand oil drilling off Florida’s coastlines is reckless, misguided and potentially catastrophic to Florida,” Buchanan said. “As the state with the longest coastlines in the continental United States, Florida is especially vulnerable to oil spills. Have we forgotten so soon the devastating damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010? Our economy, environment and way of life is at stake if restrictions on oil drilling are lifted.”
Rep. Buchanan is correct when he said “our economy and way of life” are at stake. His policy position will put both at great risk.