Florida politicians rally with activists for ban on offshore drilling

The resolution has been proposed by Democratic representatives Joseph Darren Soto of Orlando and Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg.

Current Governor Rick Scott is in favor of near shore drilling, saying he believes Florida needs to become more energy independent. "Let's figure out how we can do it safely because we can't afford to mess up our beaches or our economy," Scott told St. Petersburg Times.

The petition drive to ban drilling continues. A petition is available on the Save our Seas, Beaches and Shores website, www.sosbs.org. (Only registered Florida voters may sign the petition.)

Image via ReefRelief.org

Political leaders rallied with local activists last Wednesday at Tallahassee's Old Capitol to raise support for a ban on near shore oil drilling.

Former Governor Charlie Crist and CFO Alex Sink were among many petitioning for House Joint Resolution 383. If passed, Florida voters will be given the chance to vote for or against the drilling ban on the November 2012 election ballot. If the legislation is passed, Florida will permanently be declared a drill-free state. Oil rigs will be banned within three miles of the Atlantic coast and 10 miles of the Gulf Coast.

"Drilling within 10 miles of Florida's beaches is a risk we cannot afford," Sink said. "We must protect our tourism and visitor economy, as well as our fisheries and coastal environment."

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