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Drill Bill Going Green?

April 27th, 2009 by flanews

Legislation to end a decades old oil drilling ban in state waters is expected to pass the Florida House Monday. The Senate is more skeptical of the plan, but as Whitney Ray tells us, a plan to attach aggressive renewable energy standards to the drill bill could give the legislation a boost through the Senate.

A bill to give the State Cabinet the power to allow offshore oil drilling is being rushed through the legislative process. Proponents of the drill bill say the state needs to buy more domestic oil. But drilling does nothing to break the states dependence on oil and thats why lawmakers want to add legislation that pushes renewable energy standards.

Senator Jim King is sponsoring a bill requiring electric companies to generate 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources like solar and wind. King says plans to couple the legislation with the drill bill keep changing.

Its a work in progress that changes every hour. Ive asked the Governor to tell me what he wants to do, said King.

The Governor is questioning why the legislation is being rushed.

I would like to see renewable and the oil stand alone and on their own merit, said Crist.

Environmentalists hate the ideal of marrying the bills.

They are taking something very good which is renewable energy and they are putting it with something very bad which is a bill to drill for oil off Floridas beaches. We are not going to buy into that, said Eric Draper of Audubon of Florida.

Environmentalists say the plan is sneaky and they fear multibillion dollar oil companies are fueling the legislative fire to open Floridas coasts to oil rigs.

Proponents of the measure say the state could earn hundreds of millions of dollars by leasing the land to oil companies. Environmentalists say an oil spill could ruin the states beaches costing Florida millions in tourism dollars.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Environment, Gas Prices, Legislature, Oil Drilling, State News, Wildlife | No Comments »

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