Floridians will vote on Ballot initiative NO. 9 – TITLED: Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces on November 6, 2016. If this ballot initiative passes it will have a profound impact on Florida’s economic future.
BALLOT INITIATIVE NO. 9:
Prohibits drilling for the exploration or extraction of oil and natural gas beneath all state-owned waters between the mean high water line and the state’s outermost territorial boundaries. Adds use of vapor-generating electronic devices to current prohibition of tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces with exceptions; permits more restrictive local vapor ordinances.
Floridians and businesses in the Sunshine state depend on cheap, reliable and plentiful energy to survive and prosper. The tourism, agricultural and construction industries are especially vulnerable to increased cost for energy and fossil fuels.
In an August 8th, 2018 article titled “Environmental Activists Ignore The Strong Case For Offshore Oil Drilling” Executive Director of the Florida American Petroleum Institute David Mica wrote:
While environmental activists continue to push the same weak claims for opposing offshore energy exploration and production despite successful operations elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, there are 56,000 reasons why Florida should open its waters to exploration.
That’s the number of high-paying Florida jobs Florida could see by 2035 if it embraces its offshore opportunities. And the benefits don’t stop there.
Mica points out additional offshore oil and gas production could positively impact:
- National security: Why depend on foreign, often hostile, sources of energy when we have the potential to secure our own resources here at home?
- Exports: With abundant domestic energy resources, the U.S. can be the world’s energy leader, creating jobs at home and enhancing security for our allies abroad. Win-win.
- Increased Safety: Offshore operations today are safer than ever before. Since 2010, more than 100 standards have been created or strengthened, including for improved safety and environmental management, well design, blowout prevention, and spill response.
- Price at the pump: Every barrel of oil we produce domestically adds stability to the global oil supply, putting downward pressure on prices. As the third largest consumer of motor fuels in the U.S., Florida benefits from greater domestic energy production and has the potential to significantly contribute to it as well.
- Environmental Protection: Florida has received more than $908 million in federal funding over the past five decades to conserve our precious natural and historic treasures. That funding comes from oil and natural gas revenues. We can safely produce energy and use the revenues for important environmental conservation throughout the state. Another win-win.
- Hurricane disruptions: Everyone in Florida knows the potential damage hurricanes can have on daily life and livelihoods. Further diversification of the nationwide energy infrastructure network would help prevent disruptions to gasoline supply after storms.
- Energy conservation: Greater use of natural gas for electricity generation has helped drive U.S. carbon emissions to 25-year lows. Florida is on the front lines of this exciting trend, generating more than 60 percent of its electricity from clean, affordable natural gas and demonstrating that energy production and environmental progress are not mutually exclusive.
- Florida’s Tourism Economy: Decades of experience in the Gulf of Mexico confirm that energy development can safely coexist with fishing and tourism, as state officials with firsthand experience enthusiastically attest.
In the Sunshine State news article “Explore Offshore Makes Their Case for More Energy Exploration off Florida Coasts” Kevin Derby reported:
The national “Explore Offshore” campaign, which was launched in June, is led by former U.S. Veterans Affairs Sec. Jim Nicholson, who led the Republican National Committee (RNC), and former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2016 election cycle.
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Nicholson was in Tallahassee on Wednesday [August 15, 2018] and made the case for expanding energy exploration in the Sunshine State.
“Our American way of life and the freedoms we enjoy are undoubtedly linked to access to affordable, reliable energy,” Nicholson said. “At the same time, 94 percent of America’s offshore energy resources are completely off-limits to natural gas and oil development, disallowing hundreds of thousands of American jobs and abundant domestic energy supply, and keeping us reliant on foreign sources.
“As we plan ahead as a country, access to our offshore energy resources is a key part of the nation’s economic future and national security, and that is why I am pleased to chair the national Explore Offshore USA coalition,” Nicholson added. “Uniting supporters from Virginia to Florida, we will continue to work to ensure access to our offshore energy resources to support reliable, affordable energy, boost national security, and assure a strong United States economy.”
Cheap, reliable and plentiful energy is the life blood of any economy. Those who would deprive Floridians of these natural resources, like the Obama administration, do not have our best interests in mind.