Senator Doug Broxson (R, Pensacola) and Representative Mel Ponder, (R, Destin) in October filed resolutions to extend the current moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico east of the Military Mission Line. The Florida Senate this afternoon approved the legislation, which was also adopted by the House of Representatives.
“Our economy in Northwest Florida is anchored by the presence of our military. But more importantly, their mission to protect and defend both our homeland and our friends around the world also starts right here. We all want to see a broadened economic base, but never at the expense of this commitment of our military. The Gulf range is the center piece of the military’s strategic mission, and we must send a strong message to Congress that Florida is undivided on this issue,” Senator Broxson stated at the time.
Testing and training activities conducted from 14 Florida air and sea bases are considerably dependent on unconstrained access to the Eastern Gulf of Mexico airspace and sea space, and the GOMEX Range Complex is a unique national resource. It is larger than all other training ranges inside the continental United States combined, stretching from the Florida Panhandle, south to Key West, and encompassing the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Surrounding the GOMEX Range Complex are numerous United States Department of Defense installations, ranges, and airspaces, which make the complex unique, according to a joint press release issued by Broxson and Ponder.