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Ocala Star Banner: Offshore oil valuable to Florida but not a political soapbox

By: Julio Fuentes, President and CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Florida has become a key state in presidential elections, and this year that’s certainly the case. Now less than two months out from the 2020 Presidential election posturing and pandering for Florida votes has usurped policies that will improve the well-being of Floridians.

This is most on display over access to the state’s offshore natural resources, which relies on federal leasing practices to permit natural gas and oil drilling operations miles off the Florida and Gulf coasts. 

Few political pundits would’ve pointed to restricting offshore exploration as common ground for President Trump and candidate Joe Biden, especially given the differing approaches to energy, but the two have come closer together over the Sunshine battleground state than anywhere else in the country. 

In a surprising turn, President Trump recently announced an extended ban on offshore oil development in Florida and Southeastern coastal waters for the next ten years. Earlier in the election cycle former Vice President Joe Biden went further and committed to banning natural gas and oil operations on federal lands, including offshore operations. 

The full story can be read here.