The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

LeMieux: 'Safe' drilling should remain part of energy policy

Sen. George LeMieux said he is not in favor of additional offshore drilling until the BP problem is fully understood but that drilling needs to be "part of the discussion about making sure we have energy independence."

"We just need to make sure that drilling is as safe as possible," LeMieux told the Buzz moments ago after appearing with Senate Republican leaders in a news conference.

As for the pending climate bill, he said, "I think in order to get something done, drilling as well as nuclear as well as a bunch of other energy sources are going to have to be included. You can't do comprehensive energy reform without talking about drilling."

Reminded that Charlie Crist and some other Florida politicians have said no new drilling, no matter what, LeMieux said, "Forever? Of course not. That wouldn't be responsible."

During the news conference, Republican officials all managed to say that the idea right now isn't to blame the Obama administration (or BP). But by even raising the idea, the intended message seemed pretty clear.

LeMieux: "Right now I'm not trying to find blame. Obviously people made mistakes and there might be criticism of whether or not the administration acted quickly enough. But that's not productive at this time."

Did the administration act quickly enough? "I don't want to play that part of the game."

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:33pm]

    

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