Congressman Matt Gaetz Applauds Passage of Bill Permanently Banning Drilling in Gulf of Mexico

September 11, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) today applauded the final passage of H.R. 205, “Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act of 2019,” which permanently extends the moratorium on drilling in areas of the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida coast, including the Gulf Test Range.


“Florida’s precious coastline is a national treasure and a vital military asset. Our military mission, environment, and property values cannot be subjected to the potentially disastrous repercussions caused by drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. It is incomprehensible that a drilling moratorium would not be imposed in an area where experimental missiles are tested and launched. I applaud the passage of today’s bill, which permanently extends the ban on drilling in key regions of the Gulf of Mexico including the Gulf Test Range, and I commit to further ensuring that no drilling occurs off Florida’s coast,” said Congressman Gaetz.


Congressman Matt Gaetz is a cosponsor of H.R. 205 and spoke in support of the bill on the House Floor earlier today. A video of his remarks and a transcript can be found below.


REP. GAETZ: Thank you. Madam Speaker. If drilling off of Florida is the only thing that's going to keep us from having high energy prices and a reliance on foreign energy, I don't know why that hasn't happened yet. Right now, we are not drilling off the coast of Florida, and we are energy dominant in the world.

We're not drilling off the coast of Florida. And we continue to see energy prices dropping, as my colleague, Representative Castro, said: 69 percent of Floridians do not want to see drilling off our shores. So if you'd like to drill off the coast of Louisiana or South Carolina, I'd say have at it — but leave my beloved Florida alone.

There are many reasons to oppose drilling off of Florida's shores: our environment, our tourism economy, our real property values — but I come to the floor today to plead the case for Northwest Florida's military mission.

The Gulf of Mexico test range is one of the only places in the world where we launch live fire over water, and land it on land. And I cannot believe that I have to come here to actually make the argument that it is an incredibly stupid idea to launch experimental missiles over active oil rigs. That would seem to be obvious to most people. I know it's obvious to many in my district. This military mission is what keeps us safe. It is ludicrous to suggest that we have more to fear from LNG from Russia than we have from a China that continues to close the technological capability edge with our country.

The Gulf Test Range is one of the places where we will be testing hypersonic and supersonic weapons. If we do not continue to maintain that advantage, everybody better brush up on their Mandarin, because we won't be able to protect our country. And that is the far more significant venture. In Florida, we will protect our environment.

Please, from the Congress, don't do anything to harm us. I thank the Chairman. I thank my Florida colleagues.”