The Hard Way
President right to ban oil drilling off Florida’s Gulf, Atlantic coasts
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 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.
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.