Does Marco Rubio support constitutional ban on offshore drilling?
Marco Rubio was in Tampa today chatting with a group of small-business owners and picking up the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business. If the Legislature does wind up putting a proposed constitutional ban on offshore drilling on the ballot, I asked, would Rubio vote for it?
"I would have to study it carefully and see the cost-benefit analysis of it and what it means for Florida's future. I think there are compelling arguments on both sides of that issue," Rubio said. "There are some who believe offshore drilling would create all sorts of jobs in Florida. I would want to see the figures on that and make sure that was true. I also would want to know more about the safety records of companies and what the environmental history of some of these proponents are. On the other hand I believe America has to have all of its energy resources at its disposal, and we do need drilling in the gulf as part of that platform."
A few minutes later, Rubio told me he misunderstood the question and that he wanted to clarify he absolutely would not vote for it. "I don't believe it belongs in the Constitution. The Florida Constitution is already full of all sorts of things that don't belong in there."
Rubio said he has no problem giving Floridians the ability to vote on an offshore drilling ban, but it shouldn't be through a special session.
"The governor should have proposed that ban in April or March of the regular session. I don't know why he didn't propose an offshore drilling ban during the regular session. Well, I know why he didn't propose it -- because back during the regular session he was in favor of offshore drilling,'' Rubio said. "Special sessions are supposed to be for exigent circumstances that demand immediate action. You don't need a special session to prohibit something that's already legal."