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The Florida Everglades may soon be the site of new oil and gas drilling operations. A Miami real estate developer has, after a four-year legal battle, received a permit to drill an exploratory oil well in the Everglades, just west of populous Broward County suburbs. The developer applied for a permit to drill on on five acres in the Everglades in 2015, but the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) denied the application because there is less than a 25% chance of finding sufficient oil to warrant a drilling operations, according to the Tampa Bay Times.The DEP has a longstanding policy to deny oil and gas permits in areas like the Everglades, which is in the process of being restored — the land is located in one of the South Florida Water Management District’s three conservation areas.
Those opposed are urging the Governor to step in and put a halt to the project.
Why This Matters: Florida’s Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, opposes offshore oil and gas drilling and promised during his Gubernatorial campaign to continue Everglades restoration. So it makes no sense for him to support oil and gas drilling in another of the state’s important tourism drivers, the Everglades. The harm caused by an oil leak or spill in the Everglades would be devastating and harm an area that has been the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars in restoration funding. As one Palm Beach County Commissioner put it, “If our beaches are important enough to protect from drilling, why aren’t our Everglades?”
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In August, the federal government declared the first-ever water shortage along the Colorado River as drought pushed its largest reservoir, Lake Mead, to record lows. Now, that shortage is threatening the power supply of 5.8 million homes and businesses and water levels at the nation’s second largest reservoir, Lake […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer The controversial Line 3, a pipeline expansion under construction in northern Minnesota that would transport one million barrels of tar sands per day, hasn’t begun operating yet, but is already causing harm. The line’s construction, coupled with drought, has created low water levels in Minnesota lakes where Indigenous Anishinaabe […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In another significant blow to the Pebble Mine project in Alaska, the EPA has asked a federal court to allow Clean Water Act protections for parts of Bristol Bay, a body of water that stands to be decimated if the project continues. Environmental advocates and Alaska Native tribes hope […]
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