WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan, co-chair of the bipartisan Florida congressional delegation, announced today that he has introduced legislation with Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) to make permanent the current drilling moratorium off the coast of Florida.

While the previous moratorium on drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico expired last year, former president Trump issued an executive order to protect both coasts of Florida from drilling through June 2032. However, that action can be undone by current or future administrations and requires an act of Congress to make the ban permanent.

“Allowing drilling off of Florida’s coasts would be a colossal mistake,” Buchanan said. “As we learned from the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil explosion in 2010, our state cannot afford another spill that would threaten our economy, our environment and our way of life. As co-chair of the 30-member bipartisan Florida congressional delegation, I will continue working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect the state’s pristine coasts and beautiful waterways.”

Specifically, the Florida Coastal Protection Act would protect all of Florida’s coastlines from future catastrophic oil spills by permanently banning oil and gas drilling approximately 235 miles off of Florida’s Gulf Coast, approximately 275 miles off Florida’s Atlantic Coast and in the Straits of Florida.

Rep. Castor said, “In the Sunshine State, clean water and our beautiful beaches are central to our way of life and the cornerstones of our economy, and we know that oil and gas drilling can devastate both our environment and economy. With our bipartisan bill, Congress has an opportunity to permanently protect our coastal beaches and communities from dangerous offshore drilling.”

Buchanan has a long history fighting to protect water quality and the environment in Florida and elsewhere. He recently reintroduced legislation to amend the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to include algal blooms in the definition of a “major disaster” and had legislation signed into law that aims to protect the Little Manatee River. Buchanan has also chaired hearings of Florida’s bipartisan congressional delegation to discuss some of the most pressing water quality issues affecting the Sunshine State, including harmful algal blooms, the Everglades, offshore drilling and wildlife conservation.