‘Don’t mess with Florida’: Commissioner Fried calls to reject Florida oil drilling permit request
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida AG Commissioner Nikki Fried is calling to reject a Texas-based company’s request for oil drilling permits at Big Cypress Natural Preserve.
Big Cypress, which borders the Florida Everglades, is home to endangered species and is federally-protected.
The company applied for permits to begin oil drilling preparation inside of Big Cypress several days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ceded authority for wetlands permitting to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
In November 2020, Com. Fried submitted testimony to the EPA opposing the yielding of wetlands permitting to the state after expressing opposition the month before. Following this, she wrote to EPA Administrator, Michael Regan, and asked him to reconsider the prior Administration’s decision.
Earlier this week, Com. Fried released a state-federal partnership plan in which she asks the Biden Administration to reevaluate the EPA decision.
In response to the company’s permit applications, Commissioner Fried release the following statement:
Protecting Florida’s waters, wetlands, and ecosystems has always been a top priority for me, which is why I strongly opposed the state taking over wetlands permitting and ending crucial federal oversight. Now, we’re already beginning to see exactly what we hoped to avoid – potential giveaways of our pristine environment to the fossil fuel industry. I called earlier this week to permanently prohibit oil drilling off Florida’s coasts, and we don’t need drilling in our wetlands, either. These folks can look for oil somewhere else – keep your drilling in Texas, and don’t mess with Florida.
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