In an effort to ensure the public understands all of the elements involved in the offshore drilling issue, the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting an Offshore Drilling Symposium 11:30am Friday, August 28 at the Sheraton Sand Key 1160 Gulf Blvd, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767.
The Symposium will host expert panelists representing both sides of this issue. Supporting offshore drilling panelist include: Florida House Representative Seth McKeel, David Rancourt with Southern Strategy Group, and Chuck Warrington of Clearwater Gas. The opposing panelists include DT Minich, Executive Director Visit St. Pete Clearwater, Eric Draper, Deputy Director Florida Audubon, and Phil Compton, Regional Representative Sierra Club. Jack Harris from WFLA 970 AM will emcee the event. City of Clearwater, Mayor Frank Hibbard and Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch will also address the attendees.
Congress is currently debating how much of the outer continental shelf surrounding the United States should be open for oil and gas drilling eliminating buffer zones (e.g., 25 or 50 miles from coastline). Expanding offshore drilling is seen by some as a way to increase our local supply and improve US energy security. Others contend that other options are available for energy development and security. The issue remains contentious. The Offshore Drilling Symposium will address many of the issues currently being debated.