Oil Drilling

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The U.S., Cuban and Mexican governments began negotiations in July over how to divvy up a 7,700-square mile portion of the Gulf of Mexico known as the Eastern Gap.  The ocean floor beneath the Eastern Gap is believed to hold large amounts of oil, but with no clear owner, drilling hasn’t been occurring there.  Supporters of an oil drilling moratorium that covers much of the U.S. side of the eastern Gulf worry negotiations over the Eastern Gap could lead to Cuban oil drilling operations just on the other side of the country’s maritime border with the U.S. near the Tampa Bay area.  

It’s been nearly a year since a Miami-based family applied for a permit to build an exploratory oil-drilling well right on the fringes of the Everglades, outside of Miramar, generating an uproar in the community. 

Nevertheless, the Kanter family proceeded with the petition and it could be approved as early as late summer or early fall. 

NOAA's National Ocean Service

On July 2, the federal government and the Gulf Coast states of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas announced an $18.7 billion dollar settlement for claims against BP related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  If approved by a judge, it would be the largest environmental settlement and the largest civil settlement with any single entity in U.S. history.  Florida’s share of the settlement totals $3.25 billion. Florida’s $2 billion allocation for economic loss claims is more than any other state received with the additional $1.25 billion going toward addressing environmental damage.

A Miami company is bracing for a likely battle with environmentalists after applying to drill for oil in the Everglades.

Kanter Real Estate LLC, which owns 20,000 undeveloped acres of the Everglades in southwestern Broward County, filed applications with the state to drill an exploratory well to assess the feasibility of extracting oil.

The news hasn’t set well with environmental advocates, who say drilling would threaten the water supply, destroy wildlife habitat and complicate the restoration of the delicate Everglades ecosystem.

Divulgação Petrobras / ABr - Agência Brasil

U.S. Representatives from Florida are pushing to extend a ban on oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The new restriction was added to a Department of the Interior appropriations bill this week. That bill is pending in the House.

The current ban is set to expire in 2022, but this move would block drilling in that area four more years.