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Coastal Drilling Could Bring Down Prices at the Pump, or Not

June 20th, 2008 by flanews

Drilling off the coast of Florida continues to be the hot topic in Florida. Four dollar a gallon gas has lawmakers looking for solutions. As Whitney Ray tells us, drilling off the coast may not lower the prices at the pump, but it could slow down the increase.

Hear It Here: Coastal Drilling Could Bring Down Prices at the Pump, or Not

The pain at the pump has people screaming for relief, even if it means drilling off Floridas coast.

If its there, lets go for it. Come on lets go, said Gary Wichware.

The states Chief Financial Officer says not so fast. CFO Alex Sink says finding oil off the coast doesnt mean youll pay less at the pump.

I defy you to get an oil company to get a contract in writing for the people of Florida, if you let us drill then we will reduce your gas prices at the pump by two dollars a gallon, said Sink.

Even if oil was found off the coast of Florida, it would have to be traded on the world market before it impacted the price at the pump. Florida State University Economist Mark Isaac says if rigs began pumping oil out of state waters, it may not have much of an impact at the pump.

It may just mean it keeps the price from going up less than it might have otherwise gone up, said Isaac.

It could take years for oil found off the coast to reach the market. Still knowing there is more supply could affect the price of gas.

Just the revelation that theres more oil out there, thats going to impact the price one way of another, again how big an affect we dont know, Isaac said.

Economist say it would take more than just a few oil rigs off the coast of Florida to have a significant impact on the price. If the federal ban on drilling near the coast was lifted it would still be up to individual states to decide if they would allow drilling. So far Floridas Democratic leadership has taken a stand against drilling. Governor Charlie Crist says hes willing to consider it.

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