Opinion

Commentary: We can't escape our oil addiction

That was quick. A new poll conducted for The Miami Herald by an independent, nonpartisan research company shows support for a permanent oil-drilling ban off Florida's coast has dropped, down to 41 percent since registered voters were last queried in May.

Back then, while BP's uncapped well was still gushing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, 46 percent of Florida's registered voters were in support of a ban. North Florida and Panhandle voters, facing tar balls and falling tourism, were 52 percent for the ban. Now, just 36 percent are.

BP's capping of the gusher has apparently eased some Floridians' concerns about damage to the state's marine life and beaches. With no more streaming video of oil surging into the Gulf -- and BP's competitors relentlessly running eco-friendly television ads during news breaks -- the potential catastrophic effects of drilling accidents are fading.

But it will only be a matter of time before Big Oil again makes a pitch to drill in Florida's coastal waters. The last drive fizzled when BP's Deepwater Horizon platform exploded on April 20, killing 11 crewmen and triggering the worst oil spill disaster in U.S. history.

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

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