Thursday, October 15, 2009

Statement by State Senator Dan Gelber on the Ongoing Discussions of Near Shore Oil Drilling

"This session, apparently, oil drilling is the quick fix de jour. Drilling for the sake of state revenue is entirely the wrong way to approach governing. I’m glad my Senate colleagues are urging a more level headed approach.

"The risks associated with oil drilling off our coasts far exceed the benefits. We are a state whose economy is almost entirely based on the ability and desire of others to travel to our state to spend money. Simply, our tourism and real estate markets can't handle the risk of a spill. Gambling with the economic viability of this state should never be an option. One oil spill that damages any part of Florida's beaches will lead to countless tourists staying home and thousands of jobs lost.

"At the precise moment when we could offer up quick fixes that do little and risk much, like drilling off the coast, we should be offering long term policies that will right our state's course for the long term. Rushing into another quick fix like oil drilling would be a terrible mistake.

"On this issue, I stand solidly next to any effort to defeat drilling off the coast of Florida's pristine beaches. Our time in the upcoming legislative session should focus on how we can build a new Florida on a foundation of renewable energy and creating green jobs."

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