We’ve Had Enough Of Jeff Kottkamp’s Falsehoods And Exaggerations

 

bppelican In: We've Had Enough Of Jeff Kottkamp's Falsehoods And Exaggerations | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Pelican covered in oil from BP spill on Florida shore

We have had enough of Jeff Kottkamp’s lies and exaggerations about the BP spill and off-shore drilling, first in the following editorial by the Sun on August 22, 2018, where he states:

The  spill “didn’t even reach the shores of Florida,” Kottcamp recently told a room full of reporters in Tallahassee, the Florida Phoenix news site reported. Kottcamp, who co-chairs a new group that seeks expanded offshore oil exploration, also said that “tarballs are naturally occurring.”

And now in the Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018 Sun where he continues his deceptions and exaggerations.  He writes that “The facts demonstrate that offshore development can be done safely,..”

This statement awaits only the next spill to be proven of no consequence.  “Significantly safer” sounds too much like the “significant damage” which is never  (sarcasm here)   done to our springs, rivers and aquifer by over-pumping.

Actually the facts show the opposite; just ask some of the Gulf fishermen whose livelihood was destroyed by the spill.  For Mr. Kottcamp’s information, the damage from the BP spill has not been fixed, and things may never be as before.  The one good thing resulting from that inexcusable tragedy might be the lesson learned, even though money erases the memory of some people in the oil industry. What we don’t need is people saying it never reached Florida.

Read Kottcamp’s falsehoods in the first article in its original form at this link.   The original of the second article can be found here.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-


Editorial: Alternative facts about the BP oil spill

By The Gainesville Sun editorial board

Posted Aug 21, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Even in an era of “alternative facts” when “truth isn’t truth,” former Florida Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottcamp’s false claim about the 2010 BP oil spill was shocking.

The spill “didn’t even reach the shores of Florida,” Kottcamp recently told a room full of reporters in Tallahassee, the Florida Phoenix news site reported. Kottcamp, who co-chairs a new group that seeks expanded offshore oil exploration, also said that “tarballs are naturally occurring.”

Those who lived through the 152-day BP oil spill, especially residents and owners of businesses on Florida’s Panhandle, know the truth. They saw the spill cause pellets of oil to wash up for miles on Pensacola’s beaches and elsewhere, requiring workers to shovel up the mess for months on end and devastating the tourism industry there.

Kottcamp’s group, Explore Offshore Florida, is counting on the public to forget or doubt that experience. Backed by the American Petroleum Institute and Florida Petroleum Council, the group is pushing to allow oil and gas drilling closer to Florida’s coast.

They frame their cause as only seeking to allow oil exploration rather than drilling, as if one wouldn’t likely lead to the other. They downplay the risks to Florida’s natural environment and economy, despite residents seeing them firsthand in 2010.

For newcomers or residents with short memories, the ongoing crisis involving red tide and blue-green algae blooms in South Florida demonstrates the need to better protect our state’s environment. It also shows the need to be dubious when Florida politicians, current or former, tell the public not to worry about environmental threats.

In January, the Trump administration announced plans to open previously protected parts of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas drilling. But Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke flew to Tallahassee to announce that Florida was exempt, paying a political favor to Gov. Rick Scott by helping his bid to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Scott supported expanded offshore oil drilling when he first ran for office in 2010 but, as with other environmental issues, he’s changed his position to score political points. He has major personal investments in energy companies and his political action committee has received at least $880,000 in contributions from oil, gas and energy executives, as the Tampa Bay Times reported, so one wonder whether Scott will maintain his newfound opposition to drilling.

A healthy dose of skepticism is necessary given Scott’s ties to President Donald Trump, whose administration has promoted fossil-fuel use as it rolls back environmental regulations. Whether through expanding oil drilling, freezing fuel-economy standards for vehicles or scrapping regulations of coal-fired power plants, Trump and his allies are taking actions that increase the carbon emissions that cause climate change.

Even as the costs of solar power and other renewable energy have declined, fossil-fuel executives are trying to maintain public support for dirty energy sources. Don’t buy it when Kottcamp and other oil-industry advocates spew alternative facts about the drilling that has already befouled Florida’s environment and shouldn’t be allowed to do so again.



Jeff Kottkamp: Offshore drilling has become significantly safer

In response to The Sun’s Aug. 22 editorial, “Alternative facts about the BP oil spill” — It’s entirely possible to support energy exploration on the outer continental shelf and protection of Florida’s beautiful coastline and vital tourism industry. The reason these positions are not contradictory is the significant improvement in offshore safety standards and technology over the last eight years.

Opponents to offshore energy exploration don’t take into account the full story. Technological innovation, stringent new safety standards, and strong coordination between federal and state governments and industry ensure offshore energy development is safer today than in any time in our nation’s history.

Since the 2010 Gulf of Mexico incident, more than 100 industry safety and environmental standards have been created or strengthened, and the industry launched the Center for Offshore Safety to ensure continual safety improvements.

The facts demonstrate that offshore development can be done safely, and the economic case is just as convincing. Florida could gain thousands of jobs and $1.3 billion per year in government revenue from development of our nation’s offshore energy resources.

We can also do our part to help support affordable U.S. energy. As one of the five largest energy consuming states in the nation, Florida consumes far more energy than we produce. Natural gas and oil production in other parts of the country has helped reduce energy costs, giving families more money to spend at Florida’s tourism attractions and providing factories the ability to create more jobs.

Even with growth in renewables, the federal government estimates that oil and natural gas will supply 68 percent of U.S. energy needs by 2050, with renewable energy sources like wind and solar estimated to supply only 14 percent. For further perspective, Florida uses about 19,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year. A solar plant supplying even 1 megawatt would require 2 acres of land and nearly 14,000 solar panels.

By supporting the development of U.S. offshore energy resources, Florida can help expand economic benefits of the U.S. energy renaissance.

It’s an important choice, and Floridians deserve to hear the whole story. That includes the facts on both offshore safety advances and the economic opportunities available to our state through offshore exploration.

Jeff Kottkamp is co-chair of Explore Offshore Florida and former Florida lieutenant governor.

 

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