Florida voters have approved Amendment 9, which would add a constitutional amendment banning oil and gas drilling in state waters. Amendment 9 was arguable one of the strangest ballot initiatives of the 2018 midterm election cycle, as the same law also sought to ban indoor vaping.
With 84% of the precincts reporting, the bill had broad support with 68% voting yes.
Florida waters are a little safer for wildlife, tourism
“Floridians just protected our coastline from dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. This is great news for coastal communities and the clean, tourist-friendly beaches we depend on,” Sarah Gledhill, Florida field campaigner at the Cente for Biological Diversity said in a statement. “By passing Amendment 9, Floridians are sending a loud message to President Trump that we oppose his reckless plan to expand offshore drilling.”
Existing protections are already in place in Florida that limit how much offshore drilling can be done, but this constitutional amendment will permanently protect the state’s coastline, wildlife, and tourism industry from the risk of offshore drilling.
A strange combination
The two components of Amendment 9 taken into consideration separately seemed to have broad approval from voters, though some are arguing that combining offshore drilling and indoor vaping may have tilted the scales in an unfair way. Advocates argue that Amendment 9 taken as a whole is an environmental ballot initiative, and that the ban on indoor vaping protects air quality the same way a ban on drilling protects the sea.
Nonetheless, Florida’s voters didn’t seem to take much issue with the two being combined and have voted in favor.