Oil Drilling in the Gulf
By Nick Fritsch
At their June meeting, the mayors and commissioners, who are the voting members of the Barrier Island Governmental Council were asked about this proposal now endorsed by Governor Charlie Crist. Governor Crist seems to be a chameleon. Last year, he became “Florida’s environmental governor.” Now, he abandons his environmental position and supports drilling off the Florida coastline.
Many believe that drilling places the #1 industry in Florida, tourism, in jeopardy. Also, it would likely negatively impact the fishing and recreational boating industries. And of course, the quality of life in Florida is an issue, where more than 70-75 percent of us live within 50 miles of the coast.
The Barrier Island Governmental Council is a group with a member from each of the eleven cities and towns along the entire length (Clearwater to St. Pete Beach) of the barrier island of Sand Key. A super majority of the Council did not think drilling closer was a good idea. Their comments represented personal views, since the members had not discussed it with their town’s governing body for an official position.
A sampling of the comments that were offered is shared in what follows. “Drilling is already permitted within 125 miles of the Florida coast.” “Technology is the answer. 200 mpg cars could be possible; that is where we should focus our investment; not in more drilling.” “Drilling does not solve the problem in the long run.” “Chemicals which are used in drilling process would further contaminate the Gulf of Mexico beyond the oil contamination.” Another said, “Galveston Island, TX is a real mess.”
And finally perhaps, the most compelling statement that portrays the reality, from another member whom has visited the Texas coast, where drilling is permitted; “Some of the Texas motels along the beaches have kerosene and paper towels for you to clean oil off of your feet.” So, more oil drilling off the Gulf coast is really something to think about?
Return to Current Edition