I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: energy production near Florida’s shoreline is a nonstarter.  Whether it’s drilling for oil or wind turbines, Floridians do not want it, and we’ve got good reasons.

First, it’s a national security threat.  If drilling was to be expanded or wind turbines were to be installed on the west coast of Florida, it would seriously impact the Gulf Test Range, which is vital for the military’s munitions testing and training activities.  Whether it’s testing a hypersonic missile or ensuring our military can win in the air or at sea, the Gulf Test Range is mission critical.

On top of that, any type of offshore energy production would threaten what makes the Treasure Coast and the Palm Beaches special: our water, our beaches, and the incredible wildlife that call it home.  Nobody wants to see a repeat of the Deepwater Horizon, and nobody wants our picture-perfect views obstructed by windmills.

Moreover, there are countless species that rely on Florida’s unique ecosystems to thrive.  In order to install wind turbines, seismic testing has to be conducted, and that can spell disaster for marine life.  Seismic testing has been linked to hearing loss and disrupted feeding patterns for animals including whales, dolphins, and sea turtles.

To sum it up, preventing offshore energy is about protecting all that the Sunshine State has to offer.  That’s why I worked with my colleagues from Florida to push the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a full study of the threats and potential negative impacts of offshore energy production before any action can be taken.  It’s estimated that this study will take several years to complete, buying us more time to stop these projects, or, at the very least, ensure that every possible step is taken to protect our state.