Florida group lashes out at Congress in oil drilling plan

Florida group lashes out at Congress in oil drilling plan

The group Environment Florida lashed out at Congress for voting to allow expanded oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
The legislation awaiting President Bush’s signature opens eight-point-three (m) million acres of Gulf waters, including an area that’s located 125 miles from the Florida Panhandle.

Environment Florida spokesman Mark Ferrulo (fur-ROO-low) said yesterday there are two big concerns with drilling off the coast of Florida’s world-famous beaches.

He said the search for oil and gas uses underwater explosions that threaten marine wildlife, especially whales and dolphins.

Plus, he said oil rigs generate thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals that will be discharged into the surrounding water.

Ferrulo believes that allowing oil rigs 125 miles from Florida’s coast sets the precedent for more oil drilling even closer to land.

The offshore drilling plan gives energy companies access to oil and natural gas deposits in the Gulf and provides revenue to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press.

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