Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, senior member of the Florida Congressional Delegation, issued the following statement after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced an additional 180 day comment period on the Bush Administration's decision to consider gas and oil drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. The original plan called for a 60 day comment period which was set to expire in March 2009.
"I applaud the decision by Interior Secretary Salazar to allow public comment for an additional 180 days on the Bush Administrations plans to consider gas and oil drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. I understand all too well the need for finding other sources of fuel but drilling off our coasts will not immediately alleviate our dependence on foreign oil but it will cause havoc to our pristine coasts and fragile marine ecosystems.
An oil spill would have devastating consequences on our tourist industry and on our precious environment. We must continue doing more to find alternative sources of clean fuel that will meet our demand but not cause mayhem on our environment. It's a fine balance but it is one which I sincerely believe we can achieve."