Collier Co. oil protesters take concerns to Barron Collier Co.
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Neighbors outraged over a proposed oil drilling site in Golden Gate Estates picketed Friday in front of the Barron Collier Company in Naples. The company is a key player in oil drilling in South Florida.
Since getting word of the proposed oil drilling project back in April, neighbors living near the site in Golden Gate Estates have been doing everything in their power to stop it.
"They're building a well so close that these residents are at risk." Concerned resident Karen Dwyer said.
" Nobody has been sleeping in the neighborhood, we've had knots in our stomach. It is like having a cloud over you, you don't know what to do." Concerned neighbor Pamela Duran said.
Concerned neighbors have been standing up and speaking out. Friday, they picketed at the Barron Collier Company in Naples, which is a key component in oil drilling in South Florida. At a recent town hall meeting, reps with the Texas based oil company interested in drilling told residents the project was safe and if successful, would boost the Collier County economy. Neighbors said you can't put a price on their safety and worry one little spill could cause a lifetime of damage.
"This is Naples drinking water it's everybody's aquifer this is wetlands, wildlife. If there is one spill it all goes away." Duran said.
The protests, vigils and meetings haven't gone un-noticed. The efforts from the group "Preserve our Paradise" have gotten support from state Senator Dwight Bullard who wrote an official letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection asking to not issue a drilling permit. Now, the group plans on going to the Governor.
" We don't like backyard oil drilling so we're going to build an oil rig in his backyard out of black bamboo." Dwyer said.
The drilling decision was expected to be made in July but because of the uproar, it has been delayed until September and neighbors said they hope concerns aren't falling on deaf ears.
"I think it is a really a good sign that this has not been approved yet. So we feel like we're raising awareness which is what we really want to do, let people know because most don't know what we're looking at is a resurgence in oil drilling in south Florida." Dwyer said.