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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio: Explore drilling but don't fool public



House Speaker Marco Rubio agrees it makes sense to explore "every natural resource we have" to ensure energy independence. "If people can show us we can drill off the coast of Florida and we can do it safely without harming the environment," he told the Buzz, "then we should do that."

But the Miami Republican scoffed at the implication that it would bear quick fruit at the pump. "Even if we started drilling tomorrow morning, it could take close to 10 years before we start seeing the benefits. It's not fair to tell people that if we drill for oil, we're going to immediately lower gas prices."

Asked if Gov. Charlie Crist was smartly reading public sentiment or pandering to Sen. John McCain, Rubio said: "What's important is the public policy he is espousing. I know he's changed his mind, I know he's been accused of flip-flopping and that this is a different position from one he took just a week ago. But public policy makers have the right to change their mind, especially if it's based on a careful consideration of the issue. If he spent some time looking at the issue and came to the conclusion that he was wrong, I think that's a sign of mature leadership. If that's how he made it, I don't see anything wrong with it."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:24am]


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