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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama shifts on offshore drilling



ST. PETERSBURG — Long an opponent of offshore drilling, Sen. Barack Obama offered encouraging words for a bipartisan energy plan that would permit oil drilling within 50 miles of Florida's west coast. In an interview with the St. Petersburg Times and Bay News 9's Political Connections this morning, Obama commended the self-styled "Gang of 10" senators who earlier in the day introduced a broad energy bill that also would funnel billions into developing renewable sources.

"My attitude is that we can find some sort of compromise," Obama told the Times shortly after talking with voters at Gibbs High School. "If it is part of an overarching package, then I am not going to be rigid in preventing an energy package that goes forward that is really thoughtful and is going to really solve the problem." More here.

Meanwhile Sen. Bill Nelson said he will be working to educate Obama on the repercussions of drilling 50 miles off the coast: "Fifty miles off the coast would cut the heart and the lungs out of the United States military bbecause the largest testing and training area for the Dept of Defense in the word is the Gulf of mexico off of Florida...Now that I'm getting a chance to talk to Obama about what it would do to the United States military, that's something he needs to know."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:05am]


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