Last Summer, after the Florida legislature shot down a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned oil drilling in state waters, then-Gov. Charlie Crist pledged to “give ‘em hell for it.”
Crist was back in Tallahasse today to fulfill that promise, though he said he was more concerned with giving the people a chance to vote on the measure. He joined former Chief Finacial Officer Alex Sink to rally support for a constitutional amendment that would ban oil drilling in state waters.
Drilling close to Florida’s shore would create “a risk we cannot afford,” Sink said, a point driven home for her by conversations with people who were forced to close businesses after the spill.
Supporters of the amendment are pursuing two tracks: State Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, has introduced legislation proposing the amendment, and Crist, Sink, Democratic lawmakers and former Republican Sen. Durrell Peaden are backing a petition drive to get it on the ballot.
I asked Crist whether he, as a one-time supporter of offshore drilling, could explain why state politicians would oppose a ban, considering that there simply isn’t enough oil in state waters to have a meaningful impact on energy supplies.
His answer was terse: ”I guess they didn’t see the oil spill,” he said.