After considerable pressure from Florida lawmakers, the U-S Interior Department has relented and decided to hold a meeting IN the state about drilling off Florida’s coast.
The Interior Department’s ‘Mineral Management Service’ began holding the first of 13 scheduled meetings last week on a plan for oil and gas drilling off Florida’s shores. Most of the hearings are in Alaska; others are in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Virginia. Florida had been left off the list, angering the state’s congressional delegation. They’re against opening up 2 million acres for drilling 100 miles south of the Panhandle and 200 miles west of Tampa Bay. They worry about the environment and threats to the state’s tourism industry. Jeff Cohen is chief of staff for Fort Myers Congressman Connie Mack.
“Florida needs to have not only a voice, but an active role in managing its destiny and the destiny of Florida’s waters.”
Federal officials say drilling is needed to find other sources of energy. The meeting will be in Tallahassee on April 6th. An M-M-S spokesman declined to comment on why they didn’t plan a Florida hearing in the first place.
Tuesday, 14 March 2006 00:00