Commentary: Crist's drilling ban proposal reeks of political opportunism

The People's Governor wants the people to vote on an oil drilling ban within state waters to protect Florida's coastline.

I agree with the concept, but not his execution.

The destruction of Florida's wetlands, beaches and tourism industry cannot be allowed. And as we have seen with the BP oil spill, the devastation happened anyway in parts of the Panhandle.

It happened even though Florida has a state law that bans drilling within state waters. It happened even though Florida doesn't get one penny from oil companies as Louisiana and Alabama do for allowing drilling near their coastlines.

It happened because the tides and the gulf stream have no respect for state boundaries. They ebb, they flow, they wash up oil onto our shores from hundreds of miles away. And who knows what will happen in a hurricane. It might flush out the oil from our coasts or cover our beaches with tar balls.

So why would Gov. Charlie Crist wait almost two months after he mentioned the need for a constitutional ban on oil drilling to call this special session of the Legislature? He says it had to happen by Aug. 4 to get the constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

To read the complete column, visit www.miamiherald.com.