Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 101223
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File Number: 101223 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-572-10 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: CONTINUATION OF THE FEDERAL MORATORIUM ON OFFSHORE OIL Introduced: 5/10/2010
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 5/18/2010
Agenda Date: 5/18/2010 Agenda Item Number: 11A2
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; URGING CONGRESS NOT TO ALLOW FOR SUCH OFFSHORE DRILLING; OPPOSING ANY EFFORT BY THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ALLOW FOR OFFSHORE DRILLING NEAR THE FLORIDA COAST
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
  OIL/GAS DRILLING
Sponsors: Katy Sorenson, Prime Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, 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 5/18/2010 11A2 Adopted P
REPORT: In response to Commissioner Diaz’ question regarding whether the County and other counties were combining resources to address this oil emergency, County Manager George Burgess noted the County’s Department of Emergency Management staff was in constant contact with state and federal officials regarding this issue. He noted current efforts were focused on monitoring and tracking the activity in the Gulf. Chairman Moss asked the County Manager to prepare a report for placement on the next BCC meeting agenda, under discussion item(s) instructing the Administration to provide full briefings on the status of the Gulf Oil Spill and the potential impact to Miami-Dade County. Mr. Curtis Sommerhoff, Department of Emergency Management Director, noted his staff was working with the U. S. Coast Guard, Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resources Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and other state/local partners. He advised that there was a Sector Miami Area Contingency Plan in place that addressed hazardous materials and oil spills. Mr. Sommerhoff noted the plan included an Area Committee, consisting of the aforementioned entities, which had engaged weekly since the occurrence of the oil spill to address concerns. He provided a brief overview of the Area Committee’s efforts and noted potential impacts to South Florida Beaches. Commissioner Martinez asked the County Manager to collaborate with the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Director and the County’s lobbyists to develop strategies to ensure that the County received as much assistance as possible from the $25 million pledged to the State Of Florida by the British Petroleum Oil Company (BP). Commissioner Gimenez asked the County Manager to research and include in the report, requested by Chairman Moss, the similarities and differences between the 1979 explosion at the Ixtoc Oil Well and the April 24, 2010, Deepwater Horizon explosion, both in the Gulf of Mexico. He asked that this report also include information regarding how the 1979 oil spill was managed, the impact of that spill on this community, and, whether or not it infiltrated the Gulf Stream. Discussion ensued among Commission members and staff regarding concerns with oil drilling in the Gulf Coast and off the coast of Florida and the current moratorium. There being no further questions or comments, the Board proceeded to vote.

County Attorney 5/10/2010 Assigned Jess M. McCarty 5/11/2010

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; URGING CONGRESS NOT TO ALLOW FOR SUCH OFFSHORE DRILLING; OPPOSING ANY EFFORT BY THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ALLOW FOR OFFSHORE DRILLING NEAR THE FLORIDA COAST

BODY
WHEREAS, a Congressional moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling was first enacted in 1982; and
WHEREAS, the Congressional moratorium was supplemented by 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, in 2006, Congress passed the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA), which prohibits the leasing of federal submerged lands for the purpose of producing oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico within 125 miles of the Florida coastline; and
WHEREAS, the prohibition included in GOMESA expires on June 30, 2022, but it may be changed by federal legislation at any time; and
WHEREAS, in March, 2010, President Barack Obama proposed to open additional areas of the U.S. coastline to oil and gas drilling, including the eastern Gulf of Mexico near the Florida coastline; and
WHEREAS, during the 2010 legislative session, the Florida House of Representatives held hearings related to oil and gas drilling between three and ten miles from the Florida coast, with an eye toward passing legislation allowing for such drilling during the 2011 legislative session; and
WHEREAS, until very recently, oil drilling was one of the main legislative priorities of the incoming President of the Florida Senate and Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives for the 2011 legislative session; and
WHEREAS, the explosion and fire on the “Deepwater Horizon” oil platform that started on April 20, 2010 and claimed 11 lives, has already poured millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and has not been contained many weeks after the accident; and
WHEREAS, the “Deepwater Horizon” disaster comes only weeks after a pipeline break coated 16 square miles of the Delta National Wildlife Refuge with oil and created a slick 120 miles in area in the Gulf of Mexico; and
WHEREAS, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed 167 oil platforms and, according to reports from the U.S. Coast Guard after the storms, led to more than 6 million gallons of petroleum discharged from damaged refineries, industrial facilities, and ruptured pipelines in Louisiana alone; and
WHEREAS, contamination from oil accidents are exceedingly difficult to clean up, causing long-lasting damage to coastal environments as shown by the Exxon Valdez tanker spill in 1989 which still impacts the coastline of Alaska; and
WHEREAS, the “Deepwater Horizon” disaster has reinforced the capacity of the Gulf Loop Current to sweep pollution from the Gulf of Mexico through the Florida Keys and even the coast of Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, the tourism industry in Florida is already being impacted by the Gulf oil spill; and
WHEREAS, the proposed expansion of oil drilling in Federal waters would bring such activities even closer to the loop current in the Gulf of Mexico and into very active hurricane zones in the Atlantic; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. controls less than three percent of global oil and gas deposits, while consuming 25 percent of the world’s fossil energy, the amounts of oil and gas in offshore reserves near the Florida coast is so small relative to domestic consumption that Florida’s potential contribution to domestic oil production would have almost no effect on gasoline prices and would have a near negligible effect on U.S. 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, as the recent oil spill well illustrates; 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. Supports the continuation of the federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling to protect Florida’s coast and tourism-related industries.
Section 2. 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 3. Opposes any effort by the Florida Legislature to pursue oil drilling in Florida coastal waters.
Section 4. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the members of the Miami-Dade County Congressional Delegation, Governor Charlie Crist, the Florida Senate President, the Florida House Speaker and the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation.
Section 5. Directs the County's federal lobbyists to advocate for the continuation of the federal moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling, directs the County's state lobbyists to advocate against any legislation opening up Florida coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this issue in the 2010 and 2011 federal and state legislative packages.



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