From rising sea levels to more frequent and powerful hurricanes, Florida is highly threatened by climate change. That’s why it makes a lot of sense that state environmental regulators have recently rejected a plan to drill for oil in the Everglades.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection rejected the application by oil company Trend Exploration to dig exploratory wells near the natural reserve. According to the regulators, the plan could negatively impact water supplies and wildlife in the area, including the endangered Florida panther. Among other reasons why the state denied the request for drilling is the fact that the proposed well is located in the environmentally sensitive Big Cypress watershed.
The proposal received a number of dispute letters from people claiming that the plan poses a contamination risk to the already vulnerable water supply in the area, and that trucks would disrupt one of the prime habitats of the Florida panther and other endangered wildlife. One of the letters addressed to the regulators said there has already been a significant number of panther roadkills in the areas surrounding the proposed well. Another letter cited that the well would be near historical sites on Seminole Tribal lands.