Nikki Fried calls for executive order to block oil drilling in Florida

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is now challenging Ron DeSantis in 2022 and is making headlines for her stance and statements against oil drilling.

This week Fried wrote to leaders of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service (NPS) urging rejection of Trend Exploration’s oil exploration permit application.

The North Fort Myers-based company is seeking to drill a 12,000-foot directional well within the Big Cypress Watershed in Collier County.

Commissioner Fried’s letter to FDEP Interim Secretary Shawn Hamilton and NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge claimed that this drilling poses a threat to the region’s aquifers, water supplies, endangered species, and agriculture workers.

In the letter, Commissioner Fried calls on Governor DeSantis to issue an executive order halting all oil drilling activities within the State of Florida, citing the environmental harm of fossil fuel exploration.

“I encourage the Governor to issue an executive order halting all oil drilling and related activities anywhere within the boundaries of the State of Florida, just as I have called on the federal government to ban all drilling off Florida’s coasts,” Fried’s letter states.

In a fundraising email to supporters, Fried writes: “Drilling in the greater Everglades poses a direct threat to our water supply. I’m proud that our department played a critical role in stopping this dangerous project.”

Full letter and statement is here.

Image/Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

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