Editorial — Decisions can leave a generational impact

Date Published: 
Jan. 12, 2018

Many people along the coasts were disturbed when it was announced that there was a revision to the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program, which will lead to increased oil and gas drilling in parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and Gulf of Mexico.

One significant fear was the environmental impact this drilling would have, and the threat to the environment and local economy if a spill were to take place, such as the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

And then on Tuesday night, Jan. 9, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that the waters off the Florida coast will be excluded from the new plan after he met with Florida Gov. Rick Scott at the Tallahassee International Airport.

“I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver,” said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, per The Hill. “As a result of discussion with Gov. Scott and his leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms.”

Well, Delaware’s coast is reliant on tourism as an economic driver, as well, and one significant spill could destroy this community’s economy for generations. If we know the potential for spills could hurt Florida’s economy, why isn’t this a consideration for other coastal areas?

Please review this decision again. For all our sakes.