Florida’s delegation to Congress is proving Democrats and Republicans can find common ground.

Our elected members of Congress from both sides of the aisle announced a proposal last week that would permanently ban oil drilling off the state’s Gulf Coast. It was a much-needed and much-appreciated move. We only hope it has some support and does not turn out to be merely a symbolic maneuver.

U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor and Charlie Crist, both Democrats, joined Republican Reps. Vern Buchanan and Francis Rooney to draw up and present the Florida Coastal Protection Act, which would make the current moratorium on oil drilling, which ends in 2022, permanent, according to the Sunshine State News.

Castor, who leads the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, is the bill’s sponsor — for the second year in a row.

“Allowing drilling off of Florida’s pristine coasts would be a colossal mistake,” Buchanan said in the Sunshine State News. “Red tide has already plagued the Sunshine State — it would be imprudent to invite the potential for another catastrophic oil spill that would devastate Florida’s economy and environment.”

Castor, likely alluding to tragedies like the Deepwater Horizon explosion and leak, said delegates are well aware of the potential to sabotage the state’s tourism industry — not to mention lasting damage to its beaches and environment.

Rooney chimed in that Florida voters have been clear they do not want drilling off our coasts.

We applaud the delegates on their dedication to ban drilling anywhere near our coastline. But, even more important, we appreciate their willingness to work together in an atmosphere that makes political cooperation more difficult every year.

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