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Florida Environmentalists Call on DeSantis to Stop Oil Drilling in Apalachicola River

Posted December 10, 2019

On Tuesday, environmental scientists called on Ron DeSantis to stop the pending oil drilling in the Apalachicola River Basin. The calls come after the DeSantis Administration’s DEP issued a permit to a Texas oil company to drill in the Apalachicola River Basin.

Environmentalists note that this could pose health concerns for Floridians, affect the local economy, and do irreparable damage to our environment.

"Climate change is killing people today and will kill many more people if we fail to fully combat it in every possible way at every possible level," said John Capece, PhD., science officer Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida, and director of Campus Climate Corps.

Capece, who is currently attending the U.N. Climate Conference in Madrid, noted that one argument used by local county officials to justify fossil fuel drilling in the Apalachicola River region is that Hurricane Michael devastated their forestry industry and people need jobs:

"Instead of waking up and getting serious about climate change, they instead encourage fossil fuel drilling, a business that contributed to the economic disaster in the first place and one that threatens the entire Florida economy — as well as its long term existence," Capece said. "By continuing their long history of ignoring the causes of climate change, Florida Republicans are simply fueling further destruction to our state. They need to wake up and change their ways."

Capece said the best authority on panhandle drilling is Georgia Ackerman, the Apalachicola riverkeeper. Ackerman strongly opposes oil drilling in the river. While DeSantis may claim to be a friend of the environment, this is the latest move by the governor that exposes him for who he is: a sham environmentalist.

"Oil drilling, instead of green energy development, is happening because Ron DeSantis and Florida's Republican legislators are allowing it" stated Janelle J. Christensen, PhD, MPH, president, of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida, and added "the climate crisis is deadly, and Floridians can’t afford more oil drilling in the Apalachicola River or anywhere."


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