Ros-Lehtinen Pleased That Amendments On Off Shore Oil Drilling Were Defeated By Full House
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who represents the ecologically fragile Florida Keys, Key Biscayne, most of Miami Beach and the City of Miami, issued the following statement after Congressman John Peterson's amendment to allow drilling a mere 25 miles was defeated by the full House. Congressman Michael Conaway also offered an amendment that sought to end the drilling moratorium all together and which would not specify a distance at which drilling could take place. Ros-Lehtinen voted against both amendments.
The Peterson amendment sought to allow drilling 25 miles off the Florida coast while the Conaway amendment sought to terminate the drilling ban once and for all. Both amendments would have been disastrous for Florida's tourism fueled economy and for the delicate ecosystem that is critical to the State's very existence.
"I thank my fellow Floridians, Mario Diaz-Balart, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ginny Brown Waite, Ron Klein, Bill Young, Kathy Castor and Alcee Hastings for speaking against this amendment. We do so out of principle and because we all know what this would mean to our State's coastline and beaches.
Florida's beautiful beaches and coastlines are not only a lure for millions of tourists every year; they are also the home to countless species that are important to the delicate ecological chain that governs every known ecosystem. We do away with one species and we begin a series of events that ends with irreparable damage to our environment.
For me that is where this debate ends. Protecting our natural resources, while at the same time searching for alternative fuel sources, should be one of our top priorities. Opening up Florida's coastlines to oil and gas exploration would be a travesty with far reaching negative effects. This is not the legacy that I wish to leave to my children and grandchildren."