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Florida Gov. Crist Changes Stance on Oil Drilling

Posted on May 03, 2010 by bp complaints

After an aerial bird’s eye view of thick reddish-orange streaks of oil covering a massive area in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida governor, Charlie Crist, says: Not now, no way, writes the Associated Press (AP). The massive oil spill from last week’s blast and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was a sobering experience for Crist.

“Clearly it could be devastating to Florida if something like that were to occur. It’s the last thing in the world I would want to see happen in our beautiful state,” said Crist. “Until you actually see it, I don’t know how you can comprehend and appreciate the sheer magnitude of that thing. It’s frightening,” quoted the AP.

 Crist had previously opposed off coast drilling but had waffled somewhat over the past two years. According to the AP, the governor has said he would favor drilling if it were clean, safe, and far enough from shore. Now, the spill is proof that’s not possible.

“It’s enormous. It’s everywhere. It’s absolutely unbelievable in it’s magnitude,” said Crist, after viewing the 80-by 42-mile mess in the Gulf from the back of a C-144 plane. “Clearly that one isn’t far enough and that’s about 50 to 60 miles out, it’s clearly not clean enough after we saw what we saw today–that’s horrific–and it certainly isn’t safe enough. It’s the opposite of safe,” Crist said, quoted the AP.

After returning to Florida, Crist called Florida National Guard Maj. Gen. Douglas Burnett and emergency management director, David Halstead and asked them to work with Florida environmental secretary, Michael Sole and the Coast Guard to initiate a plan to protect Florida beaches if the oil is pushed toward the Panhandle, said the AP.

“It’s ginormous,” Crist told Halstead, quoted the AP.


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