U.S. Senator Bill Nelson says he’ll fight any plans to drill for oil and gas off Florida’s Atlantic Coast.
Nelson said drilling would be an environmental danger and a hazard to military flight training. The U.S. Department of the Interior recently released an environmental impact review laying out safeguards for conducting seismic surveys in the Atlantic.
It’s an early step that could eventually lead to drilling for oil and gas off the coast. The seismic testing will take place from Cape Cod in Massachusetts to Cape Canaveral.
Senator Nelson said oil rigs would be a hazard for rockets being launched from Cape Canaveral and flight tests off of Jacksonville’s coast. "Do you think in any way that we are going to take the U.S. Navy training area that is reserved for the Navy both military flights as well as surface and are going to deny the Navy that training because of oil rigs?" he said. Nelson also said with the country’s large supply of continental natural gas deposits there is no need to drill for it off the coast. He also said the growing movement of manufacturing and transportation companies switching to natural gas to power their equipment and vehicles will benefit the economy without the need for more oil production. Any oil or gas production in the Atlantic would likely be at least a decade away. You can follow Kevin Meerschaert on Twitter @KMeerschaertJax.