U.S. House ‘BEACHES Act’ would ban offshore Florida drilling

Bipartisan backing among Florida Delegation members.

Floridians have waited for ultimate clarity from Washington regarding whether offshore drilling will be eventually permitted.

Newly filed legislation from Jacksonville Republican Rep. John Rutherford would resolve that matter permanently.

H.R. 3585, the Bolstering Economies, Anglers, Coastal Habitats, Ecosystems, and Security (BEACHES) in Florida Act, would establish a ban in the South Atlantic and Straits of Florida.

Additionally, the legislation would extend the current Gulf of Mexico drilling ban until 2029.

“At a time when the United States is exporting record quantities of oil and gas, there is no need to conduct new drilling off the Florida coast,” said Rutherford. “Florida voters spoke loud and clear last year by passing an amendment to the state Constitution banning drilling in state waters.”

Indeed, that was supported by over 70 percent of voters.

“Now it’s time for the federal government to step up and protect our beaches, ecosystems, and national security. I am proud to see strong bipartisan support among the Florida delegation for the BEACHES in Florida Act – together we will get this bill signed into law and ensure Florida remains closed to offshore drilling for the next 10 years,” he said.

Rutherford has shown a penchant for environmental legislation in recent years. He filed a bill for a seismic testing ban already this year. He also has co-sponsored legislation to save right whales.

The bill has broad support among the Florida Delegation: co-sponsors include Republicans Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Matt Gaetz, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, Francis Rooney, Ross Spano, Michael Waltz, and Ted Yoho.

Democratic backers include Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Alcee Hastings, Al Lawson, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Stephanie Murphy, Darren Soto, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The bill would, if it passes and is signed into law, codify confidence from Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio that offshore drilling is a non-starter for Pres. Donald Trump.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Rebecca Jamin

    June 28, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Why would ANY politician, in their right mind, vote against this? Living on the Gulf Coast of Florida, I NEVER want ANY kind of drilling in these places!

  • Dennis Freytes

    July 1, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    There should be some flexiblitiy for changes in the situatuion… Florida might need the income, and the US needs to remain energy Independent. Today, the Industry is well regulated and enginering safe for Oil Drilling (over the horizen) in the Golf of Mexico… 2029 is too long sunset… Dennis Freytes- Florida Chair Veterans for Energy Independence– For FACTS: http://www.vets4energy.com/

  • Dennis Freytes

    July 1, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Hi! There should be some flexibility for changes in the situation… Florida might need the income, and the US needs to remain energy Independent.

    Today, the Industry is well regulated and engineering safe for Oil Drilling (over the horizon) in the Gulf of Mexico… 2029 is too long sunset… Plus, Seismic Surveys are proven to be environmental safe…; crucial to know the resources we have; planning…

    Decisions should be made on Facts, reasonable risks, cost, and benefit; not on unfounded emotions or fear…!

    Dennis Freytes- Florida Chair Veterans for Energy Independence– FACTS: http://www.vets4energy.com/

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn