President Trump announced Thursday his plan to open drilling in waters from the Atlantic to the Arctic. Despite promises from the Trump administration that oil drilling is off the table in Florida, the Washington, DC-based group, American Petroleum Institute has announced a multi-state “Explore Offshore Coalition” that includes Florida.
The coalition’s Florida team includes former Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, former Okaloosa County Commissioner Wayne Harris, former Puerto Rico state Sen. Miriam Ramirez and Florida Petroleum Council Executive Director David Mica. They will focus their efforts on the waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
The American Petroleum Institute said its coalition features more than 100 businesses, organizations and officials from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Florida voters have a chance to let their voices be heard on the issue. In November, a constitutional amendment banning oil drilling in state waters will appear on the ballot. It takes 60 percent approval from voters to add the ban to Florida’s Constitution.