Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) reacted to the announcement made by the Department of Interior (DOI) that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) will begin holding sales for oil and natural gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed sale of over 20 million acres in the Western Gulf Planning Area is the first since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010.
"It is unconscionable that after an environmental catastrophe that was caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent BP oil spill, the Administration would think it wise to open up these same waters to the risks and dangers that they are still recovering from.
"Offshore drilling will not ensure energy independence for our nation. It does nothing to help our economy and certainly does nothing to protect our environment. We must move away from our reliance on fossil fuels and embrace renewable, clean energy policies. This decision foolishly promotes continued reliance on fossil fuels over sustainable energy policies, putting the fragile Gulf Coast ecosystem once again in harm's way.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again: I will be the last man standing in the fight to prevent expanded offshore oil drilling."
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.