Off Shore Oil Drilling to be discussed in Tampa Bay Area

03/31/06

The issue of drilling off the coast of Florida is very much up for debate, , after the Government’s Minerals Management Service announced their plan earlier in the month that would for allow drilling in 2 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico south of the Florida Panhandle.

Florida lawmakers and critics of the proposal objected loudly when the government agency announced there would be 13 public hearings in 5 states to discuss the proposal, but none of them to be held in Florida.

But after Florida’s Senators – Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez protested –a meeting was scheduled for next Thursday in Tallahassee – but only that one….

So local environmentalists and Congressman Jim Davis are holding their own meetings on the topic next week. A coalition of groups will be holding a meeting next Wednesday where comments will be forwarded to the Department of Interior……Patricia Kieslyis is Program Coordinator for Defenders of Wildlife….. She says that many people are not aware of what the Mineral Management Service has in store for the west coast of Florida (roll tape#1 o.q.�why they’re doing this “)

Next Monday, Tampa Congressman Jim Davis will be holding his own meeting , beginning at 9:30 AM to 11, at the Tampa Port Authority (roll tape#2 o.q.�in this decision�)

As gas prices climbed well over $2.00 for the first time last year and much of the country seemed to realize that oil is a finite resource, attention in Congress became re-focused on drilling off the shores of Florida – something that Congressman Davis is acutely aware of (roll tape#3 o.q. “FOR THE LONG TERM")

So if who want to share your opinion with the Department of Interior regarding the MMS plan, but work in the daytime, FCAN, FPIRG, the Sierra Club, and Defenders of Wildlife will be hosting their meeting Wednesday evening beginning at 6:30PM at the Don Vista Cultural in Pass a grille…Again, Pat Kiesylis (Kice-leece from Defenders of Wildlife) (Roll tape#4 o.q.�opposed to it�)

Those meetings will be held next Monday morning and Wednesday evening, respectfully….The meeting to be held by the Interior Department in Tallahassee will take place from 1-3 p.m. on April 6th at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.

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