"Clearly, the oil and gas industry believes it can wield its tremendous influence in Congress to overturn needed precautions put in place by our federal authorities. And given the Senate's complete failure to pass any legislation responding to an oil disaster that killed 11 workers, injured 17 more, and led to a loss of livelihood for hundreds, if not thousands of families who depend on the now-poisoned Gulf waters, it is easy to understand why the industry feels so emboldened.
Already, key reforms to address the regulatory lapses that led to the Gulf tragedy, that previously had broad support, are now held out as too burdensome on the industry. On Tuesday, Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) sent a letter opposing a provision added to an appropriations bill that would give the Interior Department more time to review drilling permits for exploratory wells – the exact type of well that blew in the Gulf. "
New Study: Clean Beaches Worth $32.8 billion annually in Eastern Gulf
"As debate re-emerges over oil drilling in Florida's state-waters, a new study finds that Florida's Gulf Coast generates $32.8 billion dollars annually in coastal tourism and fishing business revenue and provides 335,581 jobs.
Yesterday, Environment Florida and the Sierra Club released the new report, "Too Much at Stake," joined by tourism and fishing businesses that rely on pristine beaches and clean oceans. The report finds that the tremendous economic and biological value of clean beaches far outweighs the value of oil and gas off the eastern Gulf."