Tampa Bay Times

Protect Florida’s coastline

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It’s been seven years since the BP oil spill dumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, killing fish, drowning birds, and putting in jeopardy the financial stability of thousands of residents and business owners along the Gulf Coast. This tragedy showed many Floridians that oil would never be worth the risk to our home state.

Yet leaders in the House and the Senate have once again expressed interest in the shortsight­ed plan to open up drilling rights in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Not only will the Gulf of Mexico barely yield enough oil and gas to sustain the United States for more than a few months, but we are again risking the very thing that Floridians hold most dear, our coastline. With another oil spill that occurred in the gulf just last week, opening up our the waters to increased drilling is the worst thing we could do.

Instead, we need our senators to stand up against misguided attempts to open up drilling rights in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. I am counting on Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio to stop these plans.

Jenna Stevens, Tampa

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