Oil bill allows drilling 3 miles from Florida shores
Florida law currently restricts oil exploration and drilling 10 miles into the Gulf. A new proposal that was recently passed by a house panel will allow drilling in Florida waters up to 3 miles of the shoreline if approved by the governor and Cabinet. The state of Florida could gain $31 billion in tax revenue over 20 years if oil production were to be developed. Applications for leases to drill within 10 miles offshore would cost $1 million a piece and proceeds are estimated at $300 million a year. This could be used towards the land-buying Florida Forever program, local governments, and local beach restoration. Local delegates say they support efforts towards energy independence and that it will in no way affect the state’s tourism. The Senate companion still has to be heard in committee in order for it to become effective.