Associated Industries of Florida launched a new television and print campaign to illustrate the significant economic benefits of environmentally safe oil and natural gas exploration and production in Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The ads comes a day after lawmakers in the Florida House took an important step to empower the Governor and Cabinet to evaluate Florida’s offshore energy options – a move economists say could grow Florida’s economy by $6.4 billion, create 34,000 jobs and inject at least $1.6 billion a year in energy revenues into the state budget.
The ads highlight the significant economic benefits for Florida associated with oil and natural gas exploration and production.
Floridians decisively support offshore energy exploration, as shown by many public opinion polls including a new survey of 625 Florida voters conducted April 15-16 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. Among the results of that survey:
• 59 percent of Floridians support drilling off Florida’s coast.
• 79 percent support drilling if it raises money for public education, health care and environmental protection.
• 83 percent support drilling if it will produce new jobs and stimulate the economy.
• 88 percent support drilling if it is environmentally safe.
The measure (CS/CS/HB 1219) approved by the Policy Council of the Florida House of Representatives would not immediately trigger energy exploration in state waters. Instead, it lift the ban on energy exploration and empower the Governor and Cabinet to receive, review, accept or reject proposals for exploration and production of oil & gas in the Gulf in Florida’s state waters. State waters extend from the coast to 10.35 miles.
Florida could accrue the largest revenues from leases in state waters, which the State owns. However, if Florida opened up state waters to exploration, it also could negotiate with the federal government for a share of revenues derived from production in federal waters, those from 10.35 to 200 miles offshore. Currently, Florida receives no revenues from production in federal waters.