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2010 May 02 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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New Sources

Gulf Gusher flagIn addition to the sites I have already mentioned, the Pensacola News Journal has a Gusher section and the Pensacola Beach Blog is scouring the web for stories.

A lot of people who have barely recovered from Katrina, Ivan, and Dennis are facing the loss of their livelihoods. You can’t make the payments on your boat if you can’t fish. You can’t run a seafood market if there is no seafood.

Shrimpers have already found oil in their catch. The oyster beds are being affected now. No one wants to have a vacation in an area that smells like an oil refinery. In too many ways, this is going to be worse than a hurricane and the damage more widespread.

May 2, 2010   Comments Off on New Sources

Choosing Your Words

So now there’s a major hissy fit on the right because the President said that the Department of the Interior was going to send “SWAT” teams to inspect the oil platforms in the Gulf.

That was an unfortunate choice of words, but Resource Protection, Preparedness and Response Team, or RPPRT [RePPaRT?] doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

May 2, 2010   2 Comments

Florida’s Oily Politicians

The Miami Herald reports on next year’s Republican leadership and their oil dilemma

For months, Rep. Dean Cannon and Sen. Mike Haridopolos had envisioned using oil drilling leases off Florida’s Gulf coast to fill a $6 billion budget hole expected next year. But as the oil slick washed closer to Pensacola last week, Cannon — on tap to be the next House speaker — conceded: “I think it definitely is a game changer.”

The “game” was to pass a bill authorizing leasing in state waters, i.e. the area within 10 miles of the coast, this year, but these two “service station attendants” had to pull their bill when the gusher happened. Since nothing was done to actually fix Florida’s revenue problems, [in fact, the situation was made worse by a series of incentives and tax breaks for businesses and people who want to buy yachts and private airplanes], and there is no more Federal stimulus money to plug holes, as has happened in the last two budgets, the next legislature is going to be looking for revenue. Anyone who thinks that drilling leases are off the table now, doesn’t understand the Florida legislature.

Cannon and Haridopolos will introduce a bill to authorize oil leases in the next session, if they don’t do it in a special session. They will try every short-term solution they can imagine to avoid having to actually fix Florida’s revenue problem, because they have been pushing constitutional amendments for years that all depend on growth in the state for the funding of the government.

May 2, 2010   Comments Off on Florida’s Oily Politicians