Today, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), along with Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), led the entire GOP Florida Delegation in securing a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study into the threats of offshore wind turbines to Florida communities, including environmental concerns and national military readiness.
“Florida’s coasts offer natural beauty, world-class tourism, thriving marine life, precious natural resources, and one-of-a-kind military training and testing. It goes without saying that these ugly and ineffective turbines threaten all of that and pose untold dangers to our state’s coastal communities,” Rep. Luna said. “People travel from around the world to see our pristine beaches – not windmills. My Florida Republican colleagues and I are committed to ensuring that no turbines are placed off of Florida’s coasts, and we look forward to seeing this study’s conclusive support for protecting our home from wind development.”
The letter ensures that the GAO will conduct a study into the potential negative effects wind energy development poses to Florida communities within the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Straits of Florida. These regions are uniquely impacted by turbines and other infrastructure because of the state’s marine environment and ecology, including several endangered species who make Florida coasts their home.
Additionally, the study will investigate how wind development impacts military readiness, including radar detection and training activities, like those conducted at the Jacksonville and Eglin training complexes; and report on the consequences wind turbines incur on Florida’s booming tourism industry, local economy, and region-specific industries like fishing, shipping, and navigation.
Rep. Luna and all co-signers look forward to seeing the study’s completed report so that all avenues may be pursued to protect Florida’s beautiful ecosystem, unique animal species, and the thriving livelihoods of Floridian residents.
The full text of the letter can be found here and statements from co-signers are included below. Congresswoman Luna and Chairman Westerman were joined by Reps. Aaron Bean (FL-4), Gus M. Bilirakis (FL-12), Vern Buchanan (FL-16), Kat Cammack (FL-3), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-26), Byron Donalds (FL-19), Neal Dunn (FL-2), Scott Franklin (FL-18), Matt Gaetz (FL-1), Carlos Giménez (FL-28), Laurel Lee (FL-15), Brian Mast (FL-21), Cory Mills (FL-7), Bill Posey (FL-8), John H. Rutherford (FL-5), Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27), Gregory Steube (FL-17), Michael Waltz (FL-6), and Daniel Webster (FL-11).
Rep. Buchanan (FL-16): “In Florida, we rely on clean water and white sandy beaches to support our economy and our way of life. We need to thoroughly examine the negative and potentially devastating consequences implanting large-scale wind energy turbines could have on our local marine life, environment and tourism-based economy. I am committed to protecting the state’s pristine coasts and beautiful waterways and look forward to this study’s conclusive report.”
Rep. Donalds (FL-19): “It is imperative that we conduct a study into the potential negative impact of wind energy development along our world-class Florida coastline. We’ve already seen the disastrous effects of offshore wind on states in the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Whether it’s the potential for interfering with military readiness, preserving our ecological assets, ensuring a healthy tourism economy, or safeguarding our prosperous fishing industry, these serious concerns must be addressed.”
Rep. Giménez (FL-28): “South Florida’s breathtaking coastline is a national treasure that I will always fight to protect. I’m proud to represent Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which spans 3,800-square-miles and protects our critically endangered coral reefs. I look forward to continuing working with my colleague Rep. Luna and the entire Florida delegation to safeguard Florida’s world-class coasts from disruptive offshore turbines.”
Rep. Brian Mast (FL-21): “My constituents on the Treasure Coast have been perfectly clear: they don’t want wind turbines. This is first and foremost about protecting our national security, and it’s also about protecting what makes our community great.”
Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-11): “Florida’s Gulf Coast is a world-renowned tourist attraction and a one-of-a-kind military training and weapons testing range. The Department of Defense has stated that it relies on the Gulf for critical military readiness. Wind turbines would interfere with ongoing and future military training and critical weapons testing. I am committed to preserving the unique commercial and recreational angling, tourism, and military uses of the eastern gulf.”
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