Pinellas to oppose offshore oil drilling
Pinellas County legislative priorities will include opposing efforts to allow offshore drilling within 125 miles of the county's tourist-rich beaches, according to the list of lobbying priorities to be discussed at Tuesday's County Commission meeting.
The county will support "establishment of a special task force or study committee to study the short and
long term implications of oil and gas drilling and other alternative energy sources including effects on the economy of the state and its local governments, coastal communities, and fish and wildlife with a report of the findings to a future session of the Florida Legislature."
Commissioner Ken Welch has helped spearhead opposition to allowing drilling closer to the shores.
"Rather than risk Florida's clean, tourism-based economy and thousands of tourism-related jobs, in return for a Big Oil budget fix, I suggest that what Floridians really need is a stimulus of leadership in Tallahassee, and in local government," he said in a recent letter to the editor in the Times.
David DeCamp, Times staff writer