Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blog The Hard Way

The Hard Way

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Responsible move

President right to ban oil drilling off Florida’s Gulf, Atlantic coasts

Space-Coast-Beaches hard wayThe BP oil spill was a disaster for the economy and environment along the Gulf of Mexico coast, with Florida’s tourism and fishing industries hit especially hard in the Panhandle.

So it was welcome news Wednesday when President Obama reversed his stance on expanded drilling in federal waters along the state’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts, showing the administration has learned the lessons of the spill.

Florida’s beautiful beaches and rich coastal fisheries are too precious to put in the drilling crosshairs again, which is why many in the tourism and fishing industries praised the decision.

Space-Coast hard waySpace Coast residents should be grateful, too, because waters off the Brevard County and Central Florida coasts would have been open to drilling under a vastly expanded plan that Obama announced just before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April.

The spill sent about 172 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, creating an ecological nightmare that has yet to be fully measured and exposing the falsehood that drilling is safe.

Investigations have shown BP ignored safety rules and that the federal agency that is supposed to regulate off-shore operations was nothing more than a compliant subsidiary of the oil companies.

the hard way pamFlorida lawmakers should follow the White House’s responsible move by blocking any efforts to open Florida’s near-shore, state-controlled waters to drilling.

Unfortunately, Gov.-elect Rick Scott and GOP Senate President Mike Haridopolos showed no such intent in quickly attacking Obama’s decision.

We’re confident that Florida residents know better, having learned it the hard way.

source: Responsible move | floridatoday.com | FLORIDA TODAY

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