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Thread: Do you want drilling off Walton County beaches?


  1. #1

    Do you want drilling off Walton County beaches?

    Federal officials will hold four public hearings, including one in Panama City Beach in early April, on opening new offshore oil and gas leases.


    The hearings are to develop an Environmental Impact Statement for two proposed oil and gas lease sales involving 658,000 acres that lie 120 miles off the Alabama and Florida coastlines, federal officials said.


    Paul Wohlford, vice president of sales and marketing for The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach, said he was unaware of the details of the sales but was concerned about safety issues, especially after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


    “I wasn’t aware of it, but I would be very interested in seeing if there are additional safeguards in place,” Wahlford said Tuesday of the lease sales. “We have to protect our tourism, our beaches.”


    The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana in April 2010. The first oil didn’t hit Florida beaches until June 2010, and the physical impact on Bay County was minimal, but the economic downturn in the tourism industry was harsh.


    Dan Rowe, executive director of the Bay County Tourist Development Council (TDC), said the TDC has taken a position similar to U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, and other local entities such as the Bay County Chamber of Commerce.


    “Our position is that the TDC is opposed to any offshore drilling east of the Military Mission Line (MMI),” Rowe said.


    Matt McCullough, Southerland communications director, said the District 2 congressman also remains opposed to any offshore drilling east of the MMI, established at 86.41 degrees longitude, which protects the military’s ease of operations in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.


    The area is home to both Tyndall Air Force Base in Bay County and Eglin Air Force Base in Okaloosa County, both of which provide jobs and critical economic benefits.


    Although the two proposed lease sales at the heart of the April hearings are located in the BOEM Eastern Planning Area in the Gulf, they lie on the western edge of the MMI, which runs north-south roughly in a line straight through Hurlbert Field in Okaloosa County.


    Southerland was recently on the losing end of a House vote to expand eastern Gulf oil and gas leases, including east of the MMI, although the legislation is not expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.


    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has proposed a program through 2017 that would make more than 75 percent of undiscovered oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf available for development, although most of the eastern Gulf of Mexico would remain off limits.


    The hearings will “help determine the scope of the issues to be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement, and to identify and evaluate potential environmental effects related to the proposed sales,” BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau said in a written statement.





    Want to go?


    The following meetings are scheduled for public comment: Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee; April 3, 1 p.m.; Wyndham Bay Point Resort, Panama City Beach, April 4, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Five River’s Delta Resource Center, Spanish Fort, Ala., April 5, 1 p.m.; Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, New Orleans, La., April 9, 1 p.m.

  2. #2
    As a member of the volunteer clean-up for New Orleans, and as a resident of SoWal, I will be there. And the answer will be "Over my dead body!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawnsschmidt View Post
    As a member of the volunteer clean-up for New Orleans, and as a resident of SoWal, I will be there. And the answer will be "Over my dead body!"
    I'm opposed to drilling here too, but I must ask, what clean-up in New Orleans?

  4. #4
    all for it



    part redneck/part barbie

  5. #5
    No thank you.

  6. #6
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    While I am not for drilling within sight of the coast, 120 miles is not exactly next door. Just sayin'
    I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy A View Post
    While I am not for drilling within sight of the coast, 120 miles is not exactly next door. Just sayin'
    The BP spill was a lot farther than 120 miles from us and we still got tar balls - even a chunk of the rig! THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN.

  8. #8
    I volunteered to help clean up and save wildlife as a result of the 2010 oil spill. The bayous were an absolute mess. A lot of wildlife lost. Very sad.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dawnsschmidt View Post
    I volunteered to help clean up and save wildlife as a result of the 2010 oil spill. The bayous were an absolute mess. A lot of wildlife lost. Very sad.
    Thank you. Where were you?
    Connect with SoWal   

  10. #10
    West Bank, across from the Mississippi. All it takes is a storm surge, and you've got oil filled swamplands.

  11. #11
    If the BP oil disaster had not been so far out and so deep they could have controlled it.

  12. #12
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    If they cared at all about it spilling they could have controlled it.
    Basically, I'm just passing through on my way to Australia.

  13. #13
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    In answer to the question posed on this thread, hell naw.

    I can be at the PC meeting on April 4.

  14. #14
    If we cant start developing alternative fuels then absolutely. Like somebody just said if you drill close to shore and on land you dont have problems. I live at Inlet beach, i never saw any tar balls. Theres oil down there everywhere, dont doubt theres always leaks in the gulf floor. Weve been having tar/asphalt looking balls since i was a kid in the 60s.

  15. #15
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    I don't believe that we necessarily need to drill in the gulf to solve our present energy problem. We have recently discovered an abundance of fossil fuels we could access tormorrow if our federal government would allow it. I am all for the development of alternate fuels but as of now they are impractical. To say it will take 5 or more years to develop present fossil resources is pure BS. If we had started 5 years ago, we would be independent of middle eastern oil today and we wouldn't be paying nealy $4 a gallon for gas, going toward $5. A little perspective, please.
    Last edited by Andy A; 03-29-2012 at 09:23 AM.
    I think of government as the Mafia without the moral authority or predictability. Ron Hart

  16. #16
    I agree with #15. The Keystone Pipeline could certainly be controlled much more easily on a spill than one in deep water.

  17. #17
    one thing people can't stand to do is change- why explore renewable energy when the oil couch potatoes can park their rigs in your backyard, suck up your money, and make you clean up the mess- no brainer... yes, I'm still buying gas cause I'm stuck in the merry go round of triple job 30a during the season and no job induced diet and bottom feeding in the off-season and a lack of those 4-5 hrs. of sleep/night will not produce the brainchild for solving the energy crisis. someone out there has the brain for it- go for it... YOU CAN DO IT

    Once you make it, give me a cut for motivating you- heck, if you're good-looking, I might even marry you. ok, the real truth is i just wanted to go dancing and get drunk, but I came home, ate fried chicken, exercised, and griped on this thread- another day

    part redneck/part barbie

  18. #18

    No way!

    It would be a travesty. Why can't we invest in renewable energy instead, and get over this oil dependence? Drive less, ride a bike (and get some exercise), buy an electric car. Do what you can to avoid using oil. The oil companies and politicians in their pockets are corrupt. Off-shore drilling will never be completely safe, and they cannot provide a 100% guarantee that another Deepwater Horizon will not happen. Safety regulations will always be overlooked as long as there is big money to be made, or votes to be bought. Please stand up against oil. Let your local & state politicians know you will not tolerate more drilling in the beautiful and sensative gulf waters!

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