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MILLER AMENDMENT TO STOP FLORIDA OFFSHORE DRILLING PASSES HOUSE
Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL-01) today offered an amendment to strip a provision from the Energy Policy Act of 2003 that could allow oil and gas exploration activity off Florida's coast. The amendment passed without objection at 10:40 a.m. EDT.
The Miller amendment protects the current moratorium on new lease activity in the entire Eastern Gulf Planning Area, including Lease Sale 181, which lies less than 20 miles off the coast of Northwest Florida. Representative Lois Capps (D-CA-23) and Representative Jim Davis (D-FL-11) joined Miller in offering the amendment.
"Florida's clear waters and pristine beaches are too valuable to place at risk," Miller said. "Drilling less than 20 miles offshore is much too close for comfort for the residents and tourists of the Sunshine State. We must move quickly to protect our coast from this and future threats.”
Earlier this week, Governor Jeb Bush, both Florida Senators, and 24 of the 25 Florida Representatives joined Congressman Miller in signing a letter urging the House and Senate leadership to oppose provisions in the bill allowing "exploratory drilling" and "seismic measurements" off the Florida coast.
"Since the closing of the ranges in Vieques, Puerto Rico, the Gulf of Mexico is home to a number of training ranges for the United States military. If petroleum companies were allowed to begin to explore and inventory the area, potential encroachments on our military training exercises could be created," remarked Miller. “Now is not the time to be hamstringing our Nation’s military interests.”