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Report: Florida Drilling Would Make Little Impact

oil-platformA new report says drilling in Florida waters would “have no discernible impact” on gas prices or the nation's dependence on foreign oil, but could pump millions into state coffers.

The Senate-commissioned report by the Collins Center for Public Policy studied the potential impact of drilling in state waters within 10.3 miles of the Florida Gulf coast. The report did not give tax revenue estimates for oil and gas produced in Florida waters, but said other Gulf states have seen annual revenues from $52 million to $200 million over the past several years.

However, the report also said that the state's estimated oil reserves – less than 100 million barrels – would satisfy the U.S. demand for oil for less than a week.

“Estimated oil reserves in federal waters in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico are more substantial (a little less than 4 billion barrels),” the report said.

The path to lifting the ban on offshore drilling is unclear. Current Senate President Jeff Atwater has said the Senate will move very cautiously on the issue, but his successor Sen. Mike Haridopolos as well as House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon are both proponents of lifting the ban. However, the two most likely nominees for governor, Republican Bill McCollum and Democrat Alex Sink, have also been cool to the idea so far.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. said Friday he hopes the information that the oil reserves would provide oil for less than a week will kill lawmakers' desires to lift the ban.

“It's just another confirmation that as the Legislature takes up this issue, they should not be hoodwinked by the oil boys,” Nelson told reporters at his Tallahassee office.

Florida lawmakers have not yet produced a bill for the 2010 session on oil drilling, but they have been holding workshops and forums on the issue. Cannon said in the fall that Select Policy Council on Strategic and Economic Planning is discussing how to craft a bill that provides adequate safeguards while also providing incentives for private industry.

1 Responses »

  1. OIL DRILLING PLATFORMS ARE NOT SUNSETS
    Who are you kidding. Any drilling is Florida will have an impact. Oh, it will bring in a little money but most of that will go into crooked politicians hands. They will be the ones to profit.

    Drive down the coast of California if you want to view the NO IMPACT oil drilling. Oil platforms are spaced several miles apart and stand in the sunset like strange looking buildings.

    The west coast will be affected at sunset and the east coast will be affected at sunrise. This is when they interrupt the view the most.

    Oh, and someone forgot to mention the possibility of a spill. WHOOPS- Sorry folks. The only benefit to a ruined coastline for 10 plus years is that our grandchildren will receive stippens from the oil company that spills its oil.

    YEAH RIGHT, NO IMPACT. NEVER BELIEVE A WORD THEY SAY ABOUT OIL DRILLING IN FLORIDA. LET THE LEFT COAST DEAL WITH IT.