Last month, bipartisan members of the Florida congressional delegation sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland detailing their concerns regarding proposals by Burnett Oil Co., Inc to drill in Florida’s Everglades. The members emphasized that oil drilling in the Everglades would put Congress’ restoration efforts in direct jeopardy and cause irreparable harm to the environment.
“Members of the Florida congressional delegation have written to the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service regarding this issue before,” wrote the members. “We echo these sentiments and renew our convictions encouraging your administration to conduct a full environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for these proposals and deny any operations permits needed to advance any new oil drilling sites within the Everglades.”
“Congress is investing billions of dollars to restore the Everglades under the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Act; to allow oil drilling in the Everglades would put these investments in direct jeopardy,” the congressional letter continued. “There is fierce local opposition from the Seminole Tribe and other local communities. The recent California oil spill is the latest example of the irreparable harm oil drilling can have to our communities and environment. For these reasons, we believe the proposed oil extraction activity should not be authorized.”
The letter was signed by 13 members of the Florida congressional delegation, including Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL-09), Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), Rep. Val Demings (D-FL-10), Rep. Theodore Deutch (D-FL-22), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL-21), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL-01), Rep. Al Lawson, Jr. (D-FL-05), Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL-18), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-07), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL-08), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), and Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24).