U.S. Representative Darren Soto got Secretary Ryan Zinke of the Department of the Interior on the record on issues important to the preservation of Florida’s environment at the Natural Resources Committee today.
“I’m from Florida and we care deeply about our waterways and coastal preservation,” stated Rep. Soto.
Rep. Soto questioned Zinke on the future of offshore drilling in Florida and the designation of the Kissimmee River. Because the DOI protects and manages the Nation’s national resources and cultural heritage, Florida’s environmental protection must be a priority.
When Soto questioned Zinke about Florida’s Gulf Coast 125-mile oil drilling ban, Zinke replied that it was “not in jeopardy” of drilling. Secretary Zinke assured him that the buffer would remain in place unless needed for military purposes.
“I understand the importance of protecting our coasts and developing sustainable energy from renewable sources rather than offshore drilling,” stated Congressman Soto.
Rep. Soto is working to establish Kissimmee River as a National Wild and Scenic River. During today’s committee meeting, Secretary Zinke responded that he is aware of Soto’s request and it is under review. This will be key to protecting the Northern Everglades and cleaning water going into Lake Okeechobee as well as providing recreational opportunities for residents.