Opinion

Commentary: Florida should put drilling ban into constitution

Kudos to Gov. Charlie Crist for calling a special session of the Legislature and directing lawmakers to craft a constitutional ban on oil drilling in state waters to put before voters.

While the governor's detractors decry this as crass election-season politics and point out state law already forbids drilling up to 10 miles from shorelines, some of these critics are the same drilling proponents who played politics in the 2009 legislative session by attempting to ram through a last-minute bill overturning that ban. The measure passed in the House but not the Senate.

Who should Floridians trust?

Voters should be allowed to decide whether they want an inviolate ban on oil drilling or whether they want to leave that door open to legislative change.

While a drilling prohibition in state waters does little to mitigate a catastrophe like the Deepwater Horizon gusher in federal waters some 45 miles off Louisiana, imagine a similar rig disaster only a few miles off Florida beaches. We shudder to think of the destruction to wildlife habitat, pristine beaches and our economy, already taking a hit from the millions of gallons of oil polluting the Gulf.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Bradenton Herald.

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