Mar 1, 2010

Is Drilling for Oil off the Florida Coast a Mistake?

Remember the "Drill baby drill" slogans in the '08 campaign. Remember how Florida Governor Charlie Crist sorta changed his views on drilling near Florida's coast from again to for in an attempt to be named to the Vice Presidential ticket of John Mccain.

Well according to the report below all of this hot air is for a VERY LITTLE usable product.
Sadly most politicians are not scientists(too many are attorneys) and they either choose not to or cannot study data as shown below that suggests the risk reward of drilling for oil near Florida vs what would be gained is negligible. Politicians are about appealing to their base and not often for what is good for the community. How could a politician even consider harming the cash cow that has been Florida since the mid 1800's--TOURISM.
The tourists come to the beaches and to swim, fish, and boat. They do not come to view the oil operations even if much of the drilling has equipment beneath the water's surface.

Here are the highlights of this report (from the Orlando Sentinel 2-27-10 as from the AP
Report:Florida oil drilling wouldn't solve problems)

-estimated (oil) reserves in the Florida waters would provide the USA with less than a weeks worth of oil and have no discernible effect on prices at the pump or US reliance on foreign oil says a report released Friday as part of a state senate review of whether a ban on offshore drilling should be lifted

-the report was prepared by the Collins Center for Public Policy a Florida think tank in conjunction with the state's Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida

-the 40 page report is full of data gathered from government and private sources but makes no recommendations

-the oil estimated in state waters would boost US supplies by less than 100 million barrels or a small fraction of 1 percent--it would satisfy the US demand for oil, about 20million barrels daily, for less than a week

-the report also says the chances of accidental spills are low but that Florida's coastline is especially sensitive because of its mangrove forests, sea-grass beds and coral reefs

-the closer to shore a spill occcurs the greater the hazard

Also there was recently an organized "stand-in" to gather public outrage about the Florida legislature's proposed consideration of allowing off shore drilling

A discussion below from Orlando Sentinel (by Kevin Spear and Ludmilla Lelis
At more than 50 beaches around the state, a "Hands Across The Sand" protest is planned by environmentalists, tourism-industry workers, beach lovers and politicians who want to keep drilling rigs away from Florida shores (on Feb 13, 2010)

In central Brevard, former state Rep. Tony Sasso, a lifelong surfer, and Amy Tidd with the Sierra Club are organizing a protest site at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach.

Sasso has researched oil drilling, and he remembers surfing along the Brevard coast in his youth and having to cope with tar balls that used to be a frequent scourge.

"Through the 1960s and 1970s, you'd end up with black all over your board. The hotels used to stock jars of baby oil for their guests. It was miserable," he said. "But that was also the time that the ships were able to wash out their tanks offshore."

Tidd said the risk to the state's tourism is too great to allow drilling close to Florida's shore.

We appeal to the Florida politicians to study the science and consider how relatively little will be accomplished by drilling in Florida's precious waters.

The way to lead is to make proposals to cut Florida's use of oil and gas and to push alternatives that will replace the small amount of new product drilling in Florida would offer.

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