Florida reviewing options to fight Everglades oil drilling plan

The fight over oil drilling in the Everglades remains far from over, despite a court ruling this week in favor of the plan.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a statement Wednesday saying it’s reviewing its options and would help Broward County and the region’s cities as they fight a plan by Kanter Real Estate LLC for an exploratory well in the Everglades of western Broward County.

“We’re disappointed in the Court’s ruling, which goes against the protection of the Everglades,” the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said in a statement Wednesday. “The department is reviewing our options and will continue to work with Broward County and local municipalities to provide technical assistance as they pursue their own action regarding this matter.”

The drilling plan won a major legal victory Tuesday, one day after a false alarm in which an appeals court issued an ordering affirming the proposal and then withdrew it as “issued in error.”

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried issued a statement denouncing the decision.

“This is infuriating,” she said. “I hope that lawmakers and the Department of Environmental Protection will consider changes to protect the Everglades — our most precious natural resource, the only wilderness of its kind on Earth — from future oil drilling and fossil fuel profiteering.”