Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack launches Keystone XL pipeline petition

With a gas pump doubling as a campaign prop, Senate candidate Connie Mack launched a petition drive Thursday at a Miami gas station to call for the building of the politically charged Keystone XL pipeline.

Mack, a Republican congressman from Fort Myers, said the high cost of fuel at the Mobil gas station on Coral Way was, essentially, the fault of the president and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson for opposing the pipeline.

"These are two lockstep liberals who apparently don't believe in our energy supply here in the United States," Mack, brandishing his petition, said. "They don't believe lower gas prices are important."

But the only man who signed the petition, gas station owner Michael Mendez, didn't sound so sure about what the pipeline would do or how much President Barack Obama or Nelson were to blame for the costs of oil, which Mendez said was a global issue.

"These gas prices, to me, it doesn't matter who's in office," Mendez said. "Gas prices always go up throughout the year. And then it's going to come down. And then everyone's not going to say anything for a little while."

Still, Mendez said, the petition is "better than doing nothing."

Mack's criticisms of Obama and Nelson reflect a nationwide push by Republicans who see the rising fuel prices as hampering economic growth — and therefore the approval ratings of the president. Mack has pushed for the pipeline for more than a year.

Still, a recent Florida poll showed that voters largely blame oil companies and global market forces for the prices at the pump.

Nelson's office declined to comment, but Democrats note that they tried to link approval of the pipeline with a requirement that the oil be sold in the United States. Senate Republicans rejected the proposal.

Democrats then voted last month against the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canadian tar sands 1,700 miles to refineries in the gulf. Obama personally lobbied some senators, according to some reports, largely because his administration believes the pipeline needs more environmental study.

"After getting a call from his good buddy Obama and being a yes man for Obama, he sided with the liberals and voted no," Mack said.

Nelson has blamed the high price of oil on commodities speculators.

Mack said the senator is ignoring the fact that the price of commodities goes up when speculators believe there's a dwindling supply — the result of the Democrats' opposition to the pipeline, oil drilling off Florida's shores and exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Nelson is staunchly opposed to offshore drilling, citing the BP spill in 2010. Mack has a different view.

"I have always said that I would be for drilling," Mack said. "But I think that's an issue the state should have a say in — in determining how far it's going to be off the coast of Florida."

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack launches Keystone XL pipeline petition 04/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 5, 2012 9:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pasco fire station reopens after hundreds of bats forced crews out

    Human Interest

    Fire crews have returned to a Hudson fire station nearly two weeks after they were forced out by possibly thousands of bats.

    Fire crews returned to Station 39 in Hudson on June 21, 2017, nearly twoo weeks after the building was closed due to a rat infestation. [Times files]
  2. Church of England head says it 'colluded with' sex abuse

    Religion

    LONDON — The Church of England "colluded" with and helped to hide the long-term sexual abuse of young men by one of its former bishops, the head of the church said Thursday.

  3. Looking Back: St. Petersburg does the Calypso with Jacques Cousteau (July 15, 1975)

    Celebrities

    This story appeared in the pages of the St. Petersburg Times on July 15, 1975. What follows is the text of the original story, interspersed with photos of the event taken by Times staff photographer Weaver Tripp.

    Jacques Cousteau (center), Sen. John T. Ware, R-St. Petersburg (left) and an unidentified man (right) speak to the media about potentially moving the Cousteau Society to the city of St. Petersburg.

TIMES | Weaver Tripp
  4. Hernando commissioners question sheriff's accounting of federal inmate dollars

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — As Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis and his staff presented his proposed 2017-18 budget earlier this month, county Commissioner Steve Champion threw out an unexpected question.

    Sheriff Al Nienhuis and the county fought over his department’s budget last year.
  5. Unused county property in Pasco could soon sprout community gardens

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Unused property in Pasco County may soon sprout community gardens that beautify neighborhoods and promote healthier lifestyles among residents, thanks to an ordinance passed unanimously Tuesday by the County Commission.

    A new Pasco ordinance allows the public to build community gardens and farms on county-owned property and also provides design, operations and maintenance standards for them.