Off Shore Drilling Plan discussed in Tallahassee by Mitch E. Perry

04/01/06

Today in Tallahassee , the Federal Minerals Management Service held their only public meeting in Florida on their proposal to open 2 million acres off Florida’s gulf coast to new oil and gas drilling in the 2007 – 2012 five year leasing plan for all Outer Continental Shelf areas.

Darden Rice from the Suncoast Sierra Club was with a group of about 15 people who took off from the Bay Area to attend the meeting…..She spoke to WMNF just after she and other environmentalists convened a news conference and before the meeting was to take place (roll tape#1 o.q.� thousand people there�)

Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez have introduced legislation to open up to 1.2 million acres for oil and natural gas drilling beginning 150 miles south of Pensacola.

The area is part of a 6 million acre tract known as Lease Sale Area 181 that is not covered by presidential or congressional drilling bans. The senators bill would permanently ban drilling closer to Florida than 150 miles.

A rival bill heading to the Senate Floor would open up to 3.6 million acres beginning 100 miles from the Penhandle but is silent on the future of waters closer to shore.

And the plan from the Minerals Management Service opens up 2 million acres for drilling..Again, the Sierra Club’s Darden Rice (roll tape#2 o.q.�.economy and the environment�)

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