Amendment 9 will harm Florida's energy future

May 10, 2018

(submitted by C.S. Bennett, a retired Navy veteran and member of Vets4Energy Florida)

Floridians face a long list of constitutional amendments on the ballot this November. A majority will come from the Constitution Revision Commission, a group that meets once every two decades.

While some constitutional revisions are much needed, others are duplicative and unnecessary. Amendment 9 is one of the latter. This proposed revision permanently prohibits offshore discovery and drilling in Florida’s state waters.

While supporters of Amendment 9 make the unwarranted claim it gives citizens the right to a clean environment, the increased use of natural gas and oil consumption over recent years actually lowered CO2 emissions to historic levels.

In actuality, Amendment 9 could hamper Florida’s ability to meet future energy demands — as renewable energy still only makes up a small percentage of current energy production — and puts our national security at risk.

As a veteran, I believe a permanent offshore drilling ban deters our ability to maintain the security of our state and nation. There is a direct correlation between our country’s national security and its energy supply.

The more readily we can meet the energy needs of our own, the more secure our country will be from outside vulnerabilities and energy reliance on foreign countries.

Expanding offshore energy development will continue to solidify our energy independence and further secure our country.

On the other hand, a ban essentially ties Florida’s hands in the event of a global energy crisis.

The future is unpredictable, and that’s precisely why it’s not wise to make any rash, irreversible decisions.

Offshore energy exploration and development is a highly regulated, safe way to bring money and jobs into the state. These practices have been occurring for decades, with largely positive results, and the industry frequently explores and adopts new safety practices.

Before drilling even begins, scientists use the safe, 80-year-old practice of seismic testing to responsibly locate...

Read entire article at TCPalm.


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