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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Nelson: Oil drilling is incompatible with military training



U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson responded to the report released today by a pro-drilling alliance saying that oil drilling off Florida can co-exist with military operations. "It remains the Defense Department's policy that military exercises and training in the eastern gulf are incompatible with oil drilling operations,'' he said.

Here's Nelson's full statement:

"It should come as no surprise that a group that touts drilling off Florida should produce a study saying drilling there is okay.  Its report must be considered against a backdrop: it was produced by a group that helped craft and promote legislation that would allow oil drilling 45 miles off Florida’s coast. 

"And it’s probably no coincidence that the sponsor of the legislation today also touted the study in question while renewing a call for passage of his bill.

"As for the report citing claims by former or retired military that armed forces training off Florida could co-exist with drilling, the Pentagon for years has said otherwise. It remains the Defense Department’s policy that military exercises and training in the eastern Gulf are incompatible with oil drilling operations.

"The bottom line remains the same: oil drilling and military training don’t mix; and, there isn’t enough oil off Florida’s coast to make a difference in our country’s energy independence; nor is there enough to risk the environment and tourism-driven economy of the nation’s fourth largest state."


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:15pm]


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