Florida Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson has written a letter to President Obama, just a day after Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman unveiled their long awaited energy/climate bill, to inform Obama that he cannot support the legislation as currently written.
In the letter, Nelson cites (as he frequently has in the past), military concerns and drilling too close to a missile testing range near Eglin Air Force Base in the Panhandle. And he states that:
The bill could allow drilling in federal waters close to states coastlines, including along the Atlantic seaboard. It would be up to states, like Florida, whether to establish a 75-mile no-drill zone. As a result, the bill could cede to the Florida Legislature decisions about commercial and other activities where we have a unique U.S. military installation and national missile testing range.
The bill introduced yesterday by Kerry and Lieberman has been a long time coming. It's huge (near a thousand pages), and it's missing a Republican sponsor, as South Carolina's Lindsey Graham backed off in recent weeks because....well, partly he says because the atmosphere has changed because of the oil spill in the Gulf. Some might think this is the opportune time to discuss energy, but somehow Graham thinks its not. He's also been reported to be displeased about President Obama talking about an immigration bill, which hasn't yet been introduced in the Senate. Energy has, but Graham doesn't want to have anything to do with it now.