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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Australian oil spill fuels Alex Sink's drilling skepticism



Australianoil Could a ruptured rig off western Australia (left) be the death knell to state officials trying to open up Florida to offshore drilling as close as 3 miles to the coast?

"As we speak, there's a pretty serious well off the Australian coast that blew up that they haven't been able to get under control yet. There's a 180-km oil slick off the Alexsinkcoast of western Australia. So accidents are still happening, and the thing that would concern me the most is when you're only 3 miles offshore, that doesn't give you a lot of leeway in terms of mitigating the damage," the Democratic gubernatorial candidate said in an interview last weekend.

"I have to be at least open-minded and be willing to listen to these arguments we keep hearing -- 'It's 100 percent safe now, we don't have spills any more, there's no risk' -- that's the noise that's going around Tallahassee and obviously that's coming from the proponents, and I'm very skeptical. I'd like to hear that from some independent scientific authorities that are not hired by the proponents.

"... My strong bias is not to be supportive. And furthermore -- just like so many things in the history of Florida -- It kind of reminds me of the lottery. This is not going to be the answer in Florida for the next get-rich-quick-scheme. It's just not. I think what we ought to be doing is investing our time and our talent and our focus on the tremendous opportunities we have for renewable energies. Why can't we make Florida the No. 1 solar power state? We could do that and it would create many more jobs, better paying jobs, manufacturing industries, export industries. We ought to be looking toward the future as opposed to the past."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:22pm]


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