Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 082050
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File Number: 082050 File Type: Resolution Status: Withdrawn
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: THE FEDERAL MORATORIUM ON OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS DRILLING Introduced: 6/26/2008
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 10/7/2008
Agenda Date: 10/7/2008 Agenda Item Number: 11A11
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE CONTINUATION OF THE FEDERAL MORATORIUM ON OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS DRILLING TO PROTECT FLORIDA’S COAST AND TOURISM-RELATED INDUSTRY
Indexes: MORATORIUM
Sponsors: Katy Sorenson, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 10/7/2008 11A11 Withdrawn P

Budget and Finance Committee 9/9/2008 2P Forwarded to BCC without a recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Commissioner Sorenson expressed concern regarding the offshore drilling initiative. She pointed out that hurricanes caused oil spillage. She noted tourism was Florida’s most important industry and it would be threatened by offshore drilling. Commissioner Souto noted the drilling platforms for other countries were probably closer to Florida than the offshore drilling for gas and oil in this proposed resolution. He spoke in opposition to this proposed resolution. Commissioner Gimenez pointed out the last major oil spill was in 1969. He explained the spillage of oil during hurricanes Katrina and Rita was 700,000 gallons in a 600,000 square mile area. He spoke in support of the United States of America (USA) becoming energy independent through all forms of energy and by using the existing resources in the Gulf of Mexico. Commissioner Gimenez clarified the only oil leaks from hurricanes Katrina and Rita were from older pipes, and the newer technology was much improved. Commissioner Diaz expressed concern that the USA would stop exploring alternative fuel sources if the federal moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling was discontinued. Commissioner Sosa noted the Mason Dixon Poll indicated 61 percent of Floridians favored oil drilling off of the gulf coast. She pointed out that the oil spillage from Hurricane Katrina had no reported impact on shorelines or wildlife. She spoke in support of the USA continuing to explore alternative fuels. Commissioner Souto pointed out the Miccosukee Indian Tribe operated an oil well in the Everglades. Commissioner Sorenson noted the issue of offshore drilling was a climate change issue. She pointed out the United States Department of Energy stated the impact of offshore drilling on gasoline prices would take 10 years to be realized and the difference in prices would be negligible. She emphasized that the price of gasoline was based on the international market. It was moved by Commissioner Sorenson that this proposed resolution be forwarded to the County Commission without recommendation. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Diaz. Commissioner Gimenez emphasized that the offshore drilling technology had improved to the point that offshore drilling was not a major environmental risk. He noted offshore drilling could help the USA become independent of the Middle East and Venezuela for fuel. He suggested that offshore drilling could improve the USA’s global trade, as well as impact national security. Commissioner Sosa suggested Commissioner Sorenson amend this proposed resolution to include a paragraph that emphasized increasing the domestic supply of oil, reducing the price of oil to help consumers, and drilling in a way that protected the environment, if the USA lifted the embargo on offshore drilling. Hearing no other questions or comments the Committee proceeded to vote.

County Attorney 6/30/2008 Assigned Robert A. Duvall 6/30/2008

County Attorney 6/30/2008 Referred Budget and Finance Committee 9/9/2008

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE CONTINUATION OF THE FEDERAL MORATORIUM ON OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS DRILLING TO PROTECT FLORIDA’S COAST AND TOURISM-RELATED INDUSTRY

BODY
WHEREAS, a Congressional moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling was first enacted in 1982, and has been renewed every year since; and
WHEREAS, the Congressional moratorium was supplemented by the executive orders of the first President Bush and President Clinton in 1990 and 1998, respectively, which directed the Interior Department not to conduct offshore leasing activity in areas covered by the moratorium until 2012; and
WHEREAS, Florida’s Congressional Delegation has steadfastly and successfully opposed efforts to allow oil and gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, due to the threat that pollution poses to beaches vital to Florida's environment and tourism-related economy; and
WHEREAS, in response to increasing gas prices President Bush recently called upon Congress to end the longstanding moratorium on offshore oil drilling; and
WHEREAS, it would take several years before any offshore drilling could begin and the federal Energy Information Administration estimates that lifting the moratorium would have no effect on gas prices before 2030 and that effect would be minimal at best; and
WHEREAS, the United States controls less than three percent of global oil and gas deposits, while consuming twenty five percent of the world’s fossil energy, the amounts of oil and gas in these offshore reserves is so small relative to the world supply that Florida’s potential contribution to domestic oil production will have close to no effect on prices and will not break our reliance on foreign sources of oil; and
WHEREAS, the threats posed by offshore drilling spills to Florida's environment and tourism-related economy far exceed the remote benefits to be gained from such expensive and perilous offshore activities; and
WHEREAS, given that 68 million acres of existing Federal oil leases have not been tapped, and that there is increasing evidence that the deregulation of oil commodities trading has more to do with the spiraling price of crude oil than supply and demand concerns; and
WHEREAS, an aggressive energy policy that focused on energy efficiency and renewable alternative energy resources would be a far more effective and long-lasting approach to our energy needs with the potential to create thousands of good paying renewable energy jobs in Florida,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the U.S. Congress to continue the longstanding federal moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling and to instead direct federal resources towards more meaningful long-term solutions for our energy needs, such as conservation measures and development of alternative energy sources.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Mel Martinez, the remaining members of the Miami-Dade County Congressional Delegation, Governor Charlie Crist and the chair and members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation.

Section 3. Directs the County's federal lobbyists to advocate for the continuation of the federal moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling.



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