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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio calls oil spill 'horrifying' but maintains push for more offshore drilling

Marco Rubio called the oil spill a "horrifying" ecological and environmental problem but said it should not derail plans for more domestic oil production as part of an overall energy policy.

Rubio said the immediate focus must be on mitigating the damage and investigating the cause of the problem. But on oil drilling, "I ultimately think that still has to be part of our overall energy strategy."

“The issue of offshore drilling is not going away, because America and the world depends heavily on petroleum products," the Republican U.S. Senate candidate told the St. Petersburg Times this morning.

"No serious policymaker will tell you that after alternative energy, America can become energy independent in the near future. We hope to get there. I believe in that. But in the short term, there’s the reality about how dependent we and the world are on petroleum, whether we like it or not. We’ve got to answer the question about how dependent on foreign sources we’re willing to become."

His campaign notes that he has never viewed more drilling as a "panacea" to higher gas prices, rather calling it a component of that plan. "The debate," Rubio said, "is going to continue."

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

    

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