Florida Vets4Energy: Nation's economic security, safety at risk due to drilling, oil exploration ban

May 20, 2016

Vets4Energy in Florida is spreading the word that the current ban on drilling and oil exploration off the Atlantic coast is making America vulnerable.

“One of the big issues right now is the president has shut down drilling off the Atlantic coast,” Tom Garcia, a former U.S. Navy commander and volunteer chair of Vets4Energy in the Sunshine State, told Florida Business.

The ban on drilling is not permanent, but it’s President Barack Obama’s way of making a statement, Garcia said.

Some of the greatest concerns Vets4Energy has with the inability to drill for oil is the risk oil dependence has on the nation’s economic security and national safety.

“If we are relying on other countries for our oil and even our allies are relying on other countries when we could actually be providing it, than we are not as secure as we like to be,” he said. “Most of us who are members of Vet4Energy have either been in the Gulf, fought in the Gulf, been involved in issues that had something to do with oil; and most of (us) remember the oil embargo back in the '70s when Jimmy Carter was president and how that affected the (economy).”

In 1973, members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) declared an oil embargo, which spiked the price of oil from $3 per barrel to almost $12 globally by the end of the embargo in 1974, causing an oil crisis. The second oil crisis occurred in the U.S. due to decreased oil output following the Iranian Revolution.

“The federal government gets to play a role and it just depends on who is in charge as to whether we are going to be energy independent and help out our allies,” Garcia said. “But the sad thing is when our allies have to buy oil from Venezuela or Iran or anywhere in the Middle East or Russia. It gives them a certain uncertainty about future energy supplies, and yet we could be supplying them and our companies could be making that money. To me that is a real shame.”

Read more on Florida Business Daily.


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