Pinellas lawmakers lash out against offshore drilling
UPDATE: Pinellas County Democratic Party Chairman Ramsay McLauchlan weighs in. "I am hopeful that if there is a full story written it will make it clear that the Democrats oppose the drilling and that this legislation will only pass if the Republican leadership in the house has its way. I am guessing that none of Republican ... members of the Pinellas delegation criticize ... their leadership. Rep. Hooper sounds as if he can't fight for his constituents - he must leave that up to the members of the State Senate."
CLEARWATER -- As expected, Pinellas County lawmakers lashed out over a proposed bill to allow offshore drilling during a meeting with county commissioners today.
"I don't know who in their right mind would consider moving this legislation forward," cracked Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Treasure Island. "Obviously, someone who doesn't live in coastal Florida."
The answer, as Rep. Ed Hooper put it: a majority of the Florida House.
"I'm afraid that once again, the House is going to have to depend on the Senate to do what's right," said Hooper, R-Clearwater.
The House approved a bill last session, but it died in the Senate. At a meeting today, Pinellas commissioners will discuss their opposition to the latest push to allow drilling.
David DeCamp, Times staff writer