Oil Drilling in the Everglades? Really?

So, there’s been a bit of talk lately from some fairly predictable corners about drilling for oil in the Everglades. (Sometimes when I’m typing Everglades, it comes out Everglands, which is funny, but true, because the ‘Glades certainly function as a part of the body that is Florida.)  Mostly this talk has come from people who don’t know a thing about Florida and clearly don’t give a rat’s ass about it either.

First, it should be stipulated that oil drilling already goes on in the Glades.  There are several rigs waaaaaaaaaay out there that bring up small amounts of low quality oil that has a high enough sulfur content to make it, obviously, not economically profitable for whomever owns those leases.  I say obviously because, if it were profitable, the state would already have given away every square inch and it would look like some kind of weird flooded Texas oilfield out there.

But, the iconoclasts and Dominionists and short-timers smell oil (thus money) in the warm Florida breezes, so they have begun sniffing around.

I spent this morning writing to Senator Nelson, Senator Rubio, Congressman Mack and Governor Scott along these lines:

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to stop any consideration of expanding oil drilling in the Everglades.  The tiny amount of drilling that has historically been done there has proven that the small amounts of low quality oil will not do anything to help us improve the country’s energy independence.  You need to stand strong against any proposal that would negatively impact one of our state’s major economic drivers: the natural environment.  We cannot build or drill our way out of this economic slump; we must be smarter that that.  Please recognize that Florida has some historically successful and sustainable industries that need to be fostered: tourism, fishing, and agriculture are what this state was built on, not construction and oil drilling.  I am a fifth generation Floridian, and I shudder to think what my forefathers would have thought about the notion of drilling for oil here.  Mostly, I think they would laugh.

By the way, I thanked Senator Nelson for his strength in protecting Florida’s environment.  Of the people I wrote this morning, he’s the only one I could do that for.

Like many others, I a lifelong Republican, have become so disillusioned with the Republican Party that I have lost all hope in them acting on my behalf in any way.  They have abandoned the historical basis of the party and become theocrats – wanting religion and religious values of their choosing to become the basis of our society, when in fact, as every school child knows, this country was founded on the principle of religious freedom, not religious straight jackets.

I used to think that my grandfather, who convinced me that there really was only one political party, would spin in his grave to know that I have dropped my Republican party affiliation.  Now, I think he would join me.

Gulf frittilary on some milkweed at CREW

Gulf frittilary on some milkweed at CREW


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