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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida House spent $200k on 'rush job' pro-drilling report

WUSF reports: Shortly before the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the gulf, the Florida House spent $200,000 for a study of oil drilling off Florida's coast which said any spills would be rare, small and easily contained.

Now, a leading environmental lawyer and Congresswoman Castor are calling the original study misleading and a waste of taxpayer money – especially since another well-respected think tank had just issued its own report about drilling off Florida’s coast.

The Willis Group study received almost no coverage in the media, and neither the lawmakers who commissioned it nor the men who completed the study were willing to talk with WUSF about it.

The report by the Willis Group cost $200,000 because it was a “rush job,” according to Jill Chamberlin, spokeswoman for Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul.

She says Cretul commissioned the report at the request of Rep. Dean Cannon, who’s in line to become the next House speaker. Cannon has led the effort to allow oil drilling in Florida’s territorial waters, which reach about 10 miles offshore in the gulf.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:40am]


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