Jacksonville joins dozens of towns to oppose oil drilling

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s largest city rejected a resolution opposing new oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast.

Jacksonville’s City Council on Tuesday voted 9-9 on a resolution opposing the use of seismic air guns to search for oil and gas off Florida’s coast, citing environmental concerns.

More than 60 coastal cities from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Melbourne Beach, Florida, have passed similar resolutions, despite assurances from federal regulators and the oil industry that the surveys are safe.

Obama administration guidelines have opened the door for seismic air gun surveys in a vast swath of the Atlantic stretching from Delaware to Florida.

Supporters say new oil drilling could be an economic boon for the region, but marine scientists have warned of possible harm to right whales and other imperiled species.

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