Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Crist: No position yet on federal drilling legislation
Gov. Charlie Crist said this morning he hasn't taken a position on a federal energy bill that Sen. Bill Nelson says would allow drilling within 10 miles of Florida's Gulf of Mexico coastline.
Crist today signed five bills related to law enforcement at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles headquarters in Tallahassee. He was shown new safety equipment and provided a demonstration of the search techniques of a Florida Highway Patrol drug-sniffing dog.
On Monday, Nelson was touring the Florida Panhandle to drum up opposition against the energy bill, which he said threatens Florida's Gulf beaches and military missions at Eglin and Tyndall Air Force bases. Military officials have said in the past that the effects of drilling on missions would be determined when there is a drilling proposal to be analyzed.
Crist reopened debate about drilling off Florida's coast last year -- amid $4-per-gallon gas prices -- when he said he would support drilling if it was far enough away from the coastline and could be done without causing environmental harm. He raised concerns during the legislative session about House Bill 1219 to allow drilling in Florida waters between three and 10 miles from shore. The bill died after the Senate refused to consider it.
Asked by FloridaEnvironments.com whether he'd taken a position on the federal energy bill, Crist only said, "No, I haven't."