Sen. Rubio introduces legislation to extend Eastern Gulf drilling moratorium, allow Florida to share Gulf drilling revenue

Published on May 09, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) recently introduced legislation that would extend a moratorium on oil and gas leasing in the
Eastern Gulf of Mexico and allow Florida to share in revenue from drilling in the central and western portions of the Gulf.

Since the Gulf of Mexico Security Act (GOMESA) became law in 2006, energy exploration in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico has been banned. The law also allows all the Gulf states, except for Florida, to share revenue from drilling in the middle and the west of the Gulf. These funds can be used for conservation and environmental efforts, coast restoration, hurricane protection, flood control, mitigation measures for wildlife and approved federal projects.

Rubio’s bill, the Florida Shores Protection and Fairness Act, would add Florida to the list of states able to share in that revenue. It would also extend the current moratorium from 2022 until 2027.

“This would give Florida a new source of funding, and recognize that as long as our shores shoulder some of the risk, it’s only fair that Floridians share in some of the benefit,” Rubio wrote in an editorial in the Pensacola News Journal. “It’s my hope that this legislation will start a much-needed conversation about commonsense, bipartisan solutions that will benefit Florida’s environment and workers, and ensure our state is treated fairly.”