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Schwarzenegger splits from Crist on gulf drilling

MIAMI — For a second year, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger flew in for a climate change summit, heaping praise on Gov. Charlie Crist's work in Florida.

Until the subject turned to offshore oil drilling.

Schwarzenegger made his position clear Thursday. He spoke out strongly against ending a ban on offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, an idea Crist backed last week alongside Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

"Anyone who tells you this will lower our gas prices anytime soon is blowing smoke," Schwarzenegger said.

His spokesman said the statement was not personally directed at his fellow Republicans. However, Schwarzenegger is clear on the issue, Aaron McLear added. "He doesn't believe in offshore drilling. He certainly doesn't agree with McCain and Crist on that."

Crist wrapped up his second climate change summit with a challenge to Florida's business community to invest in green technology.

While the first summit focused the science of global warming and the urgency of doing something about it, this year's agenda highlighted the economic development opportunities of investing in green alternative technology.

Packed by hundreds of businessmen and environmentalists, the summit confirmed Crist's new-won standing as a national leader in the battle against climate change. In a video address, Britain's Prince Charles praised Crist's "courageous determination" to get things moving in Florida.

Crist praised some local companies for "stepping up to the plate," singling out Florida Power & Light and Gulf Power. On Wednesday FPL announced plans for three solar power plants, and Gulf Power unveiled a $1,500 rebate for home solar water heaters.

David Adams can be reached at dadams@sptimes.com.

Schwarzenegger splits from Crist on gulf drilling 06/26/08 [Last modified: Saturday, June 28, 2008 8:57pm]

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