- Close Menu
The House of Representatives passed a bill to permanently ban offshore drilling off Florida’s Gulf Coast this month, a move Florida lawmakers said would help the state’s tourism industry and military installations.
The bill, Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act, permanently extends the moratorium on oil and gas leasing, preleasing, and related activities in certain areas of the Gulf of Mexico. The Visit Pensacola Board of Directors pledged to support the bill.
“Our coastline is a critical part of our industry and our community,” President of Visit Pensacola Steve Hayes said. “Our support was a strategic move to ensure the safekeeping of our greatest natural assets.”
The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate where Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has a similar bill that would also ban offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, but only through 2027. Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott signed onto Rubio’s bill earlier this month.
The boundary for the proposed offshore drilling ban would match the current moratorium map that expires in 2022. Offshore drilling is permitted in central and western portions of the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas and Louisiana coasts, and lawmakers in those states generally oppose restrictions on drilling.
Under the current moratorium, offshore drilling on Florida’s Gulf Coast is not permitted within 125 miles of the coast. Drilling is also not permitted farther offshore in portions of the eastern Gulf so the military can use that section of the open sea for testing purposes.
For more information on the bill, click here.
About Visit Pensacola
Visit Pensacola is the destination management organization for Escambia County which includes Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. With over 450 years of rich history and 18 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordered by the emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, visitors from all over the world are lured to our pristine shores every year. Visit Pensacola supports the community vision of tourism by serving as the central body responsible for building tourism as an economic engine for our community through leadership, connection, collaboration and communication.