Collier residents react to DEP approval of exploratory oil drilling
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
NAPLES, Fla. - Collier County residents are once again speaking out against oil drilling coming to Southwest Florida after the Florida Department of Environmental Protection approved two exploratory oil drilling permits for the area.
Confusion and disappointment just about sums up the feeling of several Collier County residents after they got word that the Florida department of environmental protection approved two permits for exploratory oil drilling, literally in their backyard.
As planned, the oil drilling will take place just 1,000 feet from the closest home in the Golden Gate Estates area.
"I don't understand why they're doing this," said Jaime Duran. He lives in a home neighboring the drill site.
A day after the DEP announced the approval of the two exploratory oil drilling permits, leaders from the group against the drilling gathered to regroup and re-strategize going forward.
"We're going to follow our hearts," said Pamela Duran, "And we'll escalate to whatever level we have to," continued Jaime Duran.
For months now the Durans along with Karen and John Dwyer have led the movement to stop oil drilling in Collier County: they've met with elected officials, held candlelight vigils on the beach to raise awareness, and even protested outside of Governor Rick Scott's Naples home.
But all of it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
"Our first feeling is we are a bunch of second class citizens living out in the sticks and we really don't matter," said Jaime Duran.
The leadership behind the "Preserve Our Paradise Movement" wants it to matter.
They've spent the last several months protesting the now planned oil drilling and informing the public of potential hazards to our water supply, wildlife, and even to residents.
Now the group is looking for a miracle to happen in order to stop the drilling, calling on Governor Scott to intervene, the oil company to have a change of heart, or for the Collier's to step in - the county namesake and the family behind the group that leased the land to Dane A. Hughes oil.
"You can stop it, but you won't unless you have a heart," said John Dwyer.
If the plan goes forward, the exploratory oil drilling will begin in the coming months in the Golden Gate Estates area and take place just 1,000 feet from the nearest home.