News-Press Mailbag

November 27, 2016

All Floridians should be happy to read that the Department of the Interior has kept the Arctic Ocean out of the latest plan for offshore drilling. The administration listened to the call of Arctic communities, scientists, and the large majority of Americans who recognize that Arctic drilling is too risky and too dirty to allow.

The Arctic is ground zero for the devastating impacts of climate change that affect all of us – maybe Floridians more so.  The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. Sea ice is declining. Permafrost is melting, and coastlines are eroding – as so clearly reported in your recent four part series Shrinking Shores – Florida’s Eroding Beaches.

In order to avoid exacerbating these problems (flooding in Miami Beach, coastline and beaches disappearing, tropical storms increasing in size and strength), Arctic Ocean oil must remain right where it is. Building on the work that has been done over the past year, excluding the Arctic Ocean from oil and gas leasing moves our nation closer to a clean energy future that will safeguard our climate and our Florida coastal communities.

Karen Scherer, Fort Myers