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Governor: Study Gulf Oil Drilling

June 17th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

Embracing oil drilling off the Florida coast has long been considered a death knell for Florida politicians, but as gas tops the four dollar mark, Mike Vasilinda tell us, drilling is now bing talked about as a savior.


For the last three decades, even thinking about Rigs like this one off Florida were sudden death for politicians. But Governor Charlie Crist spent 30 minutes answering questions from a moving gaggle of reporters, talking about why the idea may now feasible.

You know, it would all depend on the parameters. How far off the coast, how safe it would be, how much it would protect our beaches. Crist said at his first media stop.

The governor concedes his position is evolving. Just a week ago he was still saying no.

There are several obvious factors,” Crist said.”Lets face it, the price of gas has gone through the roof and Florida families are suffering as a result.”

The sudden about face has environmentalists worried. Their decades long fight has never been so close to failure. Holly Binns of Environment Florida says opening new lease areas has only resulted in higher prices.

Last year, President Bush signed a bill that opened up 8 million acres to offshore drilling. As a result, gas prices are through the roof, the price of oil is the highest its ever been, and the oil industry is awash with record profits,” Binns said.

So as the governors gaggle moved from one location to another, the question came up…was he wavering because it improved his chances of being John Mc Cains running mate?

The quick answer was No .

What happens next and who decides it is still up in the air, but the Governor now favors getting a study to find out if the treasures of the Gulf could lower the price at the pump.

Any move to allow exploration will likely take an act from congress or the state legislature, although the governor may be able to allow some exploration with an executive order.

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