Given that economic benefits are frequently touted as a reason to increase offshore oil drilling, it is significant that Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has opposed a proposal to open Florida’s coastline to oil exploration, saying it would jeopardize the state’s public land and threaten the tourist industry.
And fishermen in many areas are concerned. On the West Coast, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association has reaffirmed its 30-plus years of opposition to offshore drilling.
That’s not all — even the military is concerned that training exercises may be affected by oil operations off the Florida coast. This is also a concern in Virginia, where State Delegate Joe Bouchard, who is also a former Commanding Officer at the Norfolk Naval Station, has stated that the federally proposed lease area for drilling off Virginia presents a high risk as it is located within the U.S. Department of Defense’s VACAPES military training area.