After escaping major damage from the BP oil spill this year, the people of Florida should breath a sigh of relief that the Obama administration announced today that offshore drilling will be banned in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic coast of Florida for at least the next seven year. There's a lot of implications to the announcement, but it also means Florida will mostly be safe from the threat of oil reaching our shores.
Republican Gov-elect Rick Scott and Senator-elect Marco Rubio are, however, not happy with the decision.
"I believe offshore oil exploration should continue to be part of America's energy mix, so long as it can be done safely," Rubio said according to Naked Politics
. "I believe the administration's new policy is an obstacle to job creation and imperils our national security by making us more dependent on foreign oil from hostile regimes. On this
issue, the White House should have left politics out of the equation and based its decision on sound energy policy that advances our economic development and national security goals."
Scott, who is DC this week and will meet with the President on Thursday, is also not pleased with the decision telling press, "I believe we have to become energy independent. Offshore drilling is an option."
Meanwhile, Florida's top elected Democrat, Sen. Bill Nelson, applauded the move and fears that Scott could undermine the decision.
"I'm glad the White House is listening to the people of Florida, and has decided not to allow any new drilling in the eastern gulf ..." Nelson said in a statemen. "Unfortunately, Florida lawmakers could still allow drilling in waters the state controls some 10 miles out into the Gulf. I hope Florida's new governor and Legislature will see through the oil industry's false promises about safety, jobs and revenues, and do what's needed to protect the state."