Contact Senator Bill Nelson on Environmental Issues

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I am pleased to report that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers committed over $110 million in stimulus funds to crucial Everglades restoration projects such as the restoration of Picayune Strand and the Site 1 Reservoir.

I’ve met numerous times with administration officials—including Interior Secretary Salazar–to let them know about the importance of these projects to Florida and their potential to create jobs for Floridians. The Corps will spend about $250 million in total stimulus funds on important projects like Florida Keys water quality.

This is a clear signal that the Obama administration is solidly behind our efforts to revitalize and restore the River of Grass.

Near-shore Drilling

A few years ago, I won passage of a bill in the U.S. Senate to keep offshore drilling some 125 miles from Florida’s Panhandle and 235 miles away from most of Florida’s west coast until at least 2022.

But just recently, some members of the Florida Legislature decided they want to allow oil rigs within a three- to ten-mile range offshore, where the state and not the federal government controls the waters.

This just defies reason. Why would we want to undo the coastal protections wisely put and kept in place by Governors Graham, Chiles, and Bush?

These protections have spared our state’s economy and environment from the ravages of industrializing and degrading our coastline. Those who now propose to allow drilling and refineries know full well their plan will do nothing to reduce energy prices or our country’s reliance on oil. This simply is the agenda of big-oil interests hiding behind advocacy groups seeking to control Florida’s lawmaking.

Thankfully, Governor Crist echoed the wisdom of his predecessors by opposing combining renewable energy legislation with a bill to open Florida’s state waters to near-shore oil drilling. I joined ten other members of our Florida congressional delegation in thanking him for his stance and encouraging him to continue to oppose this bill. I look forward to continuing to work with him to protect and preserve Florida’s unique environmental resources—and the state’s economic livelihood.

Please do not reply to this e-mail.
Washington, D.C.
United States Senate
716 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Fax: 202-228-2183
Landmark Two
225 East Robinson Street, Ste. 410
Orlando, Florida 32801
Phone: 407-872-7161
Toll Free in Florida: 1-888-671-4091
Fax: 407-872-7165

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