offshore drilling

President Trump’s announcement that he’s extending the moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is leaving some ecstatic, and others scratching their heads.

The president spoke in Columbia, South Carolina, where Trump ally Lindsey Graham is facing a strong challenge for his Senate seat.

“In a few moments I will sign a presidential order extending the moratorium on offshore drilling on Florida’s Gulf Coast; and expanding it to Florida’s Atlantic Coast as well as the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina,” the president said.

Congressman John Rutherford
Bruce Lipsky / Florida Times-Union

Northeast Florida Congressman John Rutherford has filed a bill to prevent drilling in federal waters off Florida over the next decade.

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Opponents of President Donald Trump’s plan to expand offshore drilling will be coming together Saturday in Jacksonville Beach to protest. They’ll also be protesting seismic airgun testing off the Atlantic coast.

Swinsto101 / Wiki Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday downplayed growing concerns that President Donald Trump is putting Florida’s coastal waters back in play for oil exploration.

Congressman John Rutherford
Bruce Lipsky / Florida Times-Union


Northeast Florida Representative John Rutherford is leading a legislative effort to prohibit seismic airgun testing the Atlantic Ocean for a decade.

Connell Crooms, Jacksonville mayoral candidate.
Connell Crooms

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jacksonville Mayoral candidate Connell Crooms. He is best known as one of the members of the Hemming Park 5, who were arrested and beaten by police at a protest last year in the park over the Trump administration’s bombing of Syria (01:16).     

Chad Teer / Wikimedia Commons

Despite U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s declaration last week that Florida wouldn’t be considered as part of a White House offshore oil-drilling proposal, waters near the state’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts may continue to be under review.

Ed Schipul / Flickr

Seismic airgun testing by the oil industry has received approval by the Obama Administration and should commence this year, followed by potential drilling off Florida’s coast in 2017. Recently Fernandina Beach and St. Augustine joined with 25 other Eastern Seaboard towns that have passed resolutions opposing the testing. Marine scientists and environmental groups oppose drilling off Florida’s coast.

Wilson Bilkovich / Flickr

Environmental advocates and energy companies are at odds in a fight over what should be allowed in the waters of the First Coast.

U.S. Coast Guard / Wikimedia Commons

In a departure from past responses to violations of the Clean Water Act, Congress is looking to disperse fines from BP in a way that will benefit the economies most affected by the spill.

Local citizens will be joining hands on Saturday, May 18th,  at the St. Augustine Beach Pier to stand in solidarity against offshore drilling – in Florida and throughout the world. 

It's part of the annual global event, Hands Across the Sand.