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Congressman Matt Gaetz

Representing the 1st District of Florida

Congressman Matt Gaetz Issues Statement Opposing Interior Secretary Zinke’s Reversal of Drilling Off the Coast of Florida

January 5, 2018
Press Release


Washington, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) today issued the following statement in response to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s announcement this week that the White House will be reversing the current law set in place and allow offshore drilling for crude oil and natural gas off the coast of Florida.


“I am extremely disappointed and concerned with the Department of Interior’s stance regarding the future of drilling off the coast of Florida. Not only does offshore drilling threaten the Gulf Coast with another potential catastrophe like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, it also jeopardizes our national security. As I have stated many times in the past, preserving the drilling moratorium near the Military Mission Line is essential to maintaining the full functionality of the Gulf Test Range, an area of approximately 120,000 square miles used for high altitude, supersonic air combat training, air-to-air missile testing, drone targeting, hypersonic weapons testing, space launches, and more. 


America’s armed forces need to train on current and next-generation munitions and technology, in order to ensure that they remain the most powerful fighting force in the world. Oil exploration that encroaches on the Military Mission Line and the Gulf Test Range will greatly limit the military’s ability to train America’s next generation of heroes.


With North Korea, Iran, and Russia posing ever-growing threats to the stability and security of the United States, we cannot allow private enterprise to supersede the government’s primary duty, which is to defend and protect its people. I call on the President and the Secretary of Defense to protect the Military Mission Line and the Gulf Test Range. Our national security is at stake,” Rep. Gaetz said.