Offshore Drilling Will Affect Eglin

That is the word from Col. Bruce McClintock, commander of the 96th Air Base Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., reports the Pensacola News Journal. McClintock was talking Jan. 13 to state legislators who are considering a measure that would lift the 20-year-old ban on oil and gas drilling in state waters. He said above-water pumping stations attract sport fishing, whose participants would be at risk during tests in which missiles are fired at drones over the Gulf of Mexico. He said the spent missile and drone bodies “have to fall somewhere.” According to PNR, State Sen. Don Gaetz (R) praised McClintock’s forthrightness, saying, “Our military officials are being more and more forthright” and pledged not to endanger Eglin operations. However, drilling lobbyists believe exclusion zones would be sufficient to protect military training areas.