Oil Drilling Debate Does Not Belong in Constitution

April 4, 2018

Mark Alvarez, Vets4Energy

(By Mark Alvarez, retired U.S. Army veteran and member of Vets4Energy Florida, published on The Capitolist)

Most Americans agree the constitution is a sacred document. Similarly, the Florida Constitution is the guiding force for our state’s operations and changes should not be taken lightly.

The Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) is a process unique to Florida. The CRC meets only once every 20 years to decide what – if any – changes should be made to our constitution. Thirty-Seven Commissioners are appointed by elected officials and serve in this capacity until various proposals are considered and passed, ultimately voted on by the public. This year’s commissioners have done a great job balancing the needs of various Floridians against the constitution’s true purpose. That is no easy feat, especially because some proposals, which may appear beneficial, do not fit the constitution’s role of providing the structure and scope of government.

Proposal 91 is one such proposal. This bill would ban offshore drilling in Florida. Supporters of Proposal 91 say it will enhance citizens’ rights to a clean environment, even though increased natural gas and oil consumption actually lowers CO2 emissions and makes our air cleaner. However, Proposal 91 hinders Florida’s ability to meet residents’ energy needs while limiting access to economic benefits as well as our national security. It is important to note two-thirds of our state’s electricity is generated from natural gas. It is not feasible to ignore our growing needs for the resources offshore drilling helps safely provide.

The constitution is not easily changed. Once it has been amended, it is extremely difficult to make any revisions – especially considering the next CRC will not meet until 2037. Think about how quickly technology has transformed our state in the last two decades, and even in the last five years. This is especially true for the oil and natural gas industry. Oil drilling continues to become safer than ever before, and seismic testing is still the best proven and safe way to analyze what resources we have in the ocean...

See entire article at The Capitolist.


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