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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen. LeMieux criticizes federal offshore drilling plan



In his first news conference, Sen. George LeMieux criticized a federal plan that would undercut a 2006 law his predecessor, former Sen. Mel Martinez, and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson worked on to protect Florida's coastline. LeMieux said he has concerns about drilling closer to Florida's coast.

The bill, S 1517, was sponsored by Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski and Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu. It seeks to significantly reduce a current no-drill zone and expand leases in the Destin Dome area.

The proposal mirrors an amendment offered recently by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota. A 2006 law keeps oil rigs 230 miles off Tampa Bay and 125 miles off the Florida Panhandle. The new bill and Dorgan's amendment would bring Panhandle rigs within 45 miles of shore.

LeMieux also said he had concerns about President Barack Obama's health care proposal, while saying some ideas are good. That and other issues in the video.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:17pm]


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