Boca Raton, Fl- State Senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) is calling upon Governor Charlie Crist to examine the details of a $100 million fuel terminal being constructed at Port Canaveral by European oil company Vitol. Vitol supplies approximately 60% of the refined oil products imported by Iran. With many high ranking U.S. officials calling for a ban on refined petroleum imports to Iran, Florida has the opportunity to take the lead in persuading the Iranian government to stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
“In light of Florida’s recent efforts to divest its holdings from any company investing in Iran’s energy sector, we cannot ignore this opportunity to put economic pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program,” said Sen. Deutch.
Deutch has asked Governor Crist to meet with Vitol to determine whether any federal, state or local tax dollars are in any way supporting this deal. “Vitol must understand that the state of Florida is committed to preserving international security, and we expect them to support our efforts,” Deutch said.
In 2007, Senator Deutch sponsored “The Protecting Florida’s Investment’s Act,” making Florida the first state to divest its pension funds from any company doing business with the government of Sudan or the energy sector of Iran. Since its passage, Florida has divested over $1 billion of holdings from companies which chose to put profit ahead of international security.
“We must express to Vitol in no uncertain terms that the citizens of our state understand the threat of a nuclear Iran,” wrote Deutch. “And they must know that while we welcome their investment, we expect Vitol to join our state’s commitment to preserving international security by aiding the effort that Florida has already begun. Vitol need not wait for Congressional action to stop exporting gasoline to Iran, not when we are able to raise this vital issue as Vitol raises its fuel terminal on Florida soil.”