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Obama supports the offshore drilling plan of the Gang of 10. Some details... [View All]

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-02-08 01:40 PM
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Obama supports the offshore drilling plan of the Gang of 10. Some details...
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The first thing that entered my mind after reading more about this plan....images of the hurricanes that year after year skirt the coastlines of these states. Sometimes all summer long, even into November.

Two parts stunned me...Florida will be given no choice, and in cases of the other states only a 50 mile ban. Again I saw an image of the hurricanes.

This part is from the local paper about Obama's appearance here yesterday, and it quotes from a separate statement sent out by his campaign.

Obama in Lakeland refers to drilling

Friday, he said he was still not a fan of drilling, telling the Palm Beach paper, "I think it's important for the American people to understand we're not going to drill our way out of this problem."

Obama also said, in a separate statement issued by his campaign, that he supported the bipartisan energy plan offered by 10 senators Friday.

"Like all compromises, it also includes steps that I haven't always supported," he said. "I remain skeptical that new offshore drilling will bring down gas prices in the short term or significantly reduce our oil dependence in the long term, though I do welcome the establishment of a process that will allow us to make future drilling decisions based on science and fact."

The proposal would end most of the ban on drilling. It would allow a 50-mile buffer on the East Coast, as well as Florida's Gulf Coast. Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina would be permitted to start oil and natural gas exploration outside the buffer.

Now more details about the plan from the five Republicans and 5 Democrats in the Senate.

Compromise would open some areas to exploration

The Gang of 10 proposal would encourage states to allow drilling off their shores by sharing some of the federal offshore royalty revenues with the states. But unlike the other four states, Florida would not get a choice on whether to allow drilling off its coasts. When asked why not, Chambliss said, "It's only a logical extension of what's happening in the Gulf right now. Plus, that area has been identified as an area where resources are available right now."

But the proposal, coming just two years after passage of a carefully crafted compromise that opened a portion of the eastern Gulf, was met by almost immediate opposition from Florida's senators Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Mel Martinez.Nelson has already has told Senate leadership "if anybody wants to drill off Florida, they'll have a fight on their hands," Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin said in an e-mail. Martinez, in a statement, said: "Unfortunately, the proposal would eliminate Florida's 2006 Gulf protections and give Floridians absolutely no voice in determining where exploration could occur."

The Gang of 10 tried to avoid more opposition by limiting the new areas open for exploration, opting not to try to include the West Coast or the East Coast north of Virginia areas where opposition might have been equally vigorous.

"We've got to start somewhere," Chambliss said. "It doesn't make a whole lot of sense just to open everything up right now and think that ... we're going to have a rush by the folks who do the exploration to go all over America."

The bill's prospects are far from certain. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the proposal "includes some very good ideas" but added: "I do not agree with every part of it."

I think I was right when I said the the Democrats will not fight very hard on this.

Only 50 miles offshore in the most hurricane prone states. Common sense just is overflowing in Congress.

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