Miami Dade County Community Forum

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sarasota Herald-Tribune examination found that the promises made by oil drilling proponents are largely empty

The oil industry makes its case for drilling within a few miles of Florida’s coast by trumpeting a new kind of drilling that is “virtually invisible” on the coast. By Jeremy Wallace

The promise of subsea systems swayed some legislators to support opening Florida’s waters to drilling. But a Herald-Tribune examination found that the promises made by drilling proponents are largely empty:

• One of the subsea systems being touted is almost exclusively used in water that is thousands of feet deeper than Florida’s coastal waters.

• Even the American Petroleum Institute concedes that subsea systems are intended for water more than 5,000 feet deep. Florida’s coastline, within the 10 miles the state controls, runs no deeper than 100 feet.

• Another system being promoted, a floating drilling system that uses large vessels tied to subsea drilling wells instead of fixed drilling platforms, has never been used anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico.

• The only way subsea systems would be viable off Florida’s coast is if large traditional drilling platforms were built nearby or the state allowed refineries and miles of pipelines to shore. History shows that is not likely to happen. A new oil refinery has not been built in the United States since the 1970s.

Absent such changes, drilling off Florida’s coast would likely be done with traditional fixed drilling platforms rising hundreds of feet above the water. These platforms, which dot the Louisiana and Texas coastlines, have for years symbolized Florida’s opposition to drilling.

To read more...hit on the link above. The UEL has taken a position AGAINST further oil drilling. See our resolution.

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